Volleyball 5-0!

Well we somehow pulled of a win last night!  We lost our first match 25-14, and we were outclassed, out-volleyed, and out-served.  I was flat on my feet, and couldn’t get the ball to work with me at all.

Somewhere in the beginning of the second game, my teammates stepped up their game.  We strung together a very solid lead, and watched it dwindle to 22-19.  Then we rallied with six consecutive points.  The gentleman on the other team had already boasted that he was going to put us away quickly, because the Purdue game started at 8:30 and he was anxious to watch it.  Well, he went home 30 minutes later a loser!

We rallied for victory on the second game, and kept a fairly dominating lead the third game; however they started making a comeback at the end, but we were able to hold them off.  They are a really talented team, but I do think we had an off night!  I think we can play better still.  It’s going to fun to play them in the playoffs.

There is some bad news!  Josh (our new recruit) has taken a position with a local factory and will not be able to play with us any more.  I don’t think I like the economy rebounding so well, all my buddies are getting jobs, and can’t play with us.  🙂
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The family took off to Indianapolis in the morning, because my daughter had a doctor’s appointment.  She had an echo-cardiogram to track her heart condition (if any).  All her tests came back positive, and she is free to act like a child again.  Praise Jesus!

My daughter has been diagnosed with Mar Fans Syndrome, and she got that genetic trait from me.  I did have to have heart surgery and had heart complications from it; however she isn’t showing any symptoms yet.
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Jesse won the competition for weight loss at work.  He lost 8 pounds!  I lost 1.  I now owe him a gas card from the Shell station for $25 scoops!  Congrats Jesse.

We have made the bet again this week, so I think Jesse has lost his easy weight and I’m going to be able to catch him this week!
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Breakfast: 2 special K bars (90); coffee (25)

Lunch: Perkins in Anderson soup and salad (450)

Dinner: Stuffed Shells (900)

Total Calories: 1465 🙂
Total Exercise: 1 hour of volleyball 🙂
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HAWT-Y OF THE DAY!
Jennifer Aniston


Alert Easy Pro – Bad Software: Good Irony

Below is an exerpt from an email from Alert Management System www. alert-ims.com.  They are a software vendor from the 1970’s who refuse to update their software, and continue to maintain at an alarmingly out of date pace.

They are a rental software program vendor, and are charging me to move a license file that stops the program from running.  Mind you I get a CD from them and can install the software without them, but it will not work without them getting into our computer and allowing it to work.  Which is ludicris right?

It get’s worse, they charge you for that!  Isn’t that funny!  It has to be illegal or something, but $150.00 isn’t worth it, so you just pay them!  What a racket.

I’m going to sale you a car, but if you want to open the hood and modify it, we’re gonna charge ya for it.  Funny thing is this car is a P.O.S. anyway!  It’s like charging us to fix a Pinto!~

Here is the email between us, kinda funny!  Remember the email goes backward.  I recommend you scroll to the bottom and read it up.

_________________________

Thank you, I will make sure and post my appreciation on my blog.

Matt Weaver
Information Systems Manager / Advertising

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From: Jeff Knoepke
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 3:47 PM
To: Matt Weaver
Subject: FW: Alert License transfer

Matt:

The issues here are two-fold:

1)      As you are obviously aware, we need to have a system to ensure that the software is not reproduced without our consent.  The license is designed to lock when loaded onto a different computer.  All we need from you is your assurance that the machine it’s being loaded on is a replacement, not a second system.

2)      The administrative costs of licensing adjustments are normally covered by the Software Support Agreement.  When there is no Support Agreement in place, our policy is to change a fixed fee of $150.00.

We’ll be in touch shortly to arrange payment for the license move and to confirm that the virtual server replaces the previous system as your Alert server.  At that point we will need to arrange remote access to the system to reset the license.

Jeffrey Knoepke
Director, Client Care Group
Alert Management Systems


From: Matt Weaver
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:54 PM
To: support
Cc: Josh Logan
Subject: FW: Alert License transfer

Please schedule a time with Josh to apply our (already purchased) license, to our computers.  Please contact me when you need a credit card number to pay for the administration cost.  I don’t consider this issue to be a support cost, since support is for technical errors and software help, this particular problem is a system that is implemented by Alert to keep customers from stealing the software, and since I have already purchased the software; I get to pay a fee to help Alert maintain their own security.

Matt Weaver
Information Systems Manager / Advertising

From: Josh Logan
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 1:32 PM
To: Matt Weaver
Subject: Alert License transfer

I just talked to Alert, and apparently, are support contract ended at the end of last year.  They say we need to pay $150 to transfer the license.


Josh Logan
Jr. Systems Administrator

The NFL, FCC, CBA, Start Up Leagues, Sub-Prime Mortgages and You

<taken from blog maverick – Official blog of Mark Cuban>

Is it possible that the future economics of the NFL could be influenced by the FCC ? Absolutely.  Does the NFL and all professional sports leagues have something in common with the Sub Prime mortgage mess and the collapse of home prices. Absolutely.   Could both of these, along with the recession impact whether or not you will be able to watch your favorite professional sport in 2011 ? Absolutely.

Sports fans probably are not paying attention to what is happening with broadcast television.  The over the air broadcast networks, all of which are the biggest customers of the NFL (CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC/ESPN) are now pushing TV Providers (cable, telco and satellite), to pay retransmission fees. In other words, the broadcast networks want to be paid for every TV Provider subscriber, just like cable networks get paid.  It’s a reasonable request in many ways. But there is a flip-side.

The ability to send their network signal over the air to TVs (to be received without paying a TV Provider) is a right that is regulated by the FCC. The FCC is also in charge of the Broadband Initiativein the US.  Whats the connection ?  The same spectrum that the broadcast networks use to send their digital tv signal over the air to TVs could be re-allocated to the broadband initiative.  Which is more important to US Citizens, over the air TV stations or more wireless broadband bandwidth  ?  Its a simple question with no simple answer.  What is absolutely certain is that a very convincing argument could be made that wireless bandwidth is more important than over the air TV.

If this argument wins, the amount of spectrum to TV stations could be minimally cut, impacting the picture quality of their signal. It could be reduced substantially, severely impacting the quality, leaving just enough for a basic Standard Definition quality signal, or it could be cut 100pct with a subsidy being provided so that that the formerly over the air signals could be received over the broadband bandwidth or from an existing TV Provider. In any of these scenarios. it could be a big problem for the NFL. All NFL regular and post season games are currently broadcast on over the air stations.  If the business and delivery of those over the air stations changes substantially, the economics of the NFL could change substantially.

Do you think the NFL and the NFL Players Association are building this scenario into their models as they negotiate their new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) ? They should, it has a far better than zero chance of occuring in the next 5 years.

Which leads us to the most prolific problem that all professional sports leagues currently have, they are HORRIBLE when it comes to managing risk.

Lets continue with the NFL.  The hardest job in professional sports is the assessment of  player skill. The second hardest job is determining how to allocate salary to players in a manner that builds a  championship team. The difficulty of talent assessment and salary is amplified for rookies.  No professional sports league has been smart enough to negotiate the ability to work out and play potential rookies against existing league players. Why not ?

In the case of the NFL rookie draft pick salaries and bonuses are basically a function of what was paid for the same draft position in previous years.  Thats stupid. Rookie signings are 100pct risk, yet their guaranteed salaries are often higher than established all stars at the same position. Even worse, much of that amount is paid up front in the form of a bonus.   Again, poor risk management by the league when they negotiated their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

I have written in the past about the  significant problems inherent with the CAP based system that the pro sports leagues use.  Its a killer for small and medium sized markets. Combine the problems of a CAP system with the significant risk of rookie and overall player evaluation and salaries and pro sports leagues actually face a better than zero chance of having teams go out of business. We have seen bankruptcies in the NHL. If pro sports leagues don’t do a better job of risk management, it could get worse.

What about the players side ?  They have kicked ownership’s ass in every league. Contrary to what some agents have said, professional athletes have taken advantage of leagues inability to manage risk and their desire to win.  Agents like to argue that pro sports should be an open market like the film industry. Well guess what, it is.  Im sure players would love it if all the agents in pro sports pooled the money they made from the players and started their own pro leagues.  If the economics were great and players were underpriced, in any league,  how fast would savvy businesspeople rush out to start new leagues and pay the star attractions of every league more ?

Instead, when leagues like the UFL start, they work to complement the NFL by taking players that are no longer in the league or trying to get there.  Basketball and hockey leagues arent formed in the US to compete, they survive overseas where a significant source of revenue and profits is in selling players to pro sports leagues here in the US. Again, another example of the inefficiency of how players are paid and how risk is assigned in professional sports in the US.

The same could be said about buying a team. You dont see agents buying teams in cap driven leagues.

If you want to understand more about value and athletes, look no further than Mixed Martial Arts.  I met with a lot of people who repeatedly told me that the UFC underpaid their athletes.  That by paying the best fighters more,  you could draw the same size crowds to arenas and buyers to PPV. It was an expensive lesson to learn how wrong they were.  Pro sports are just one of an unlimited number of entertainment options.  To get MMA fans to pay to watch a fight or to get them to the arena  is not just about having the best fighters, its about great marketing. Its about making a very significant investment in brand building and showmanship. Its about understanding how to connect to fans.  Its a lesson in recognizing that while the leagues or in this case the UFC enable their best to become big stars, they recognize that the business behind the stars must be vibrant and profitable before anyone can be successful.  The same can be applied to the big 4 professional sports.  Unfortunately it doesn’t appear that many in the big 4 sports leagues, whether agent, player, management or owner have come to recognize this fact.

A word of caution to  NFL players and their agents as they negotiate a new CBA. As I wrote about 5 years ago, up till the current recession, the only time I had seen a group self inflict a loss of  more than 1 Billion Dollars was when NHL players locked out of an entire season and lost more than that in salaries and benefits. Money they will never , ever get back.  The amounts of money at risk for players this time around will be far greater.  Ownership may lose some money in a lockout. Players lose all their earnings.  As owners in the NFL and NHL recognize that they have taken on too much risk in the past, the likelihood of a lockout increases. Players and their agents should be very careful how they balance the risks and rewards they ask for in a new deal.

Which makes all of this analogous to the Sub Prime Mortgage mess that helped put us in this Great Recession.

There was so much money being made in banking and syndicating loans that everyone who had money at stake ignored the risk involved.  They modeled their finances thinking that there was no way housing prices could drop 30pct. They modeled their businesses thinking there was no way 10pct or more of the loans they bought could default.  They bought bonds in companies they thought could never go out of business.

All of these things that never happened until they did,  in hindsight,  were not complete surprises. The surprise was that the ratings agencies, the bankers, the brokers, the mortgage syndicators, every one involved with the buying and selling of money ignored things they never should have ignored.

That is what the NFL and other pro leagues need to remember. You cant ignore risk. Nor can you assume 100pct of the risk and hope the real bad stuff never happens.  The NFL and its owners, since we are using them in our example, are assuming 100pct of the risk of the economy falling again. They are assuming 100pct risk of their bigggest TV customers having their primary delivery systems eliminated. They are assuming 100pct of the risk of trying to convey money from big markets to small markets to try to compensate for an irrational cap system. They are assuming 10opct risk on the capital invested in their franchises, PLUS capital they may have to add to cover any losses.

The players side ? While individual NFL players take on significant risk, the players as a whole take on ZERO risk.  If their membership just shows up for games, 53 guys on each team are getting paid.  They never have to give the money back or  contribute capital to make up losses.

The solution ? Its a system where risks and rewards are allocated properly. Owners should take on more risk than players because they have more upside from franchise appreciation. They shouldnt take on all the risk. Nor should players be excluded from sharing in the upside of equity appreciation. Im not saying that for example players earn a share of the sale price when an NFL franchise is sold. There are a variety of ways to track or index appreciation of franchises that rewards players that can work better and more efficiently.  When the index appreciates the economics available to players appreciate. When the index depreciates, the amount available to players should be reduced as well.

The bottom line of the bottom line is that its time for a new model for professional sports.  Merely changing the values of the current model is a recipe for potential disaster.  Black Swan events happen in professional sports and always will.

Survivor: Heroes are the New Villains

Stephanie was voted out @ last night's survivor

The Heroes have the best camp, and have the chickens; but they are not living like heroes.  They lost yet another challenge during the puzzle portion of the challenge after having a dominating lead after the physical portion of the contest.

James lost his cool, and portrayed a bit of a tantrum; that followed them back to camp and subsequently back to tribal council.  The heroes are split into three subgroups, and those lines are very deep between at least two of the subgroups.

Subgroup 1: Tom, Colby, Stephanie (voted off)
Subgroup 2: JT,  Candice, Cirie
Subgroup 3: Rupert, James, Amanda

Currently group 2 can sway either way with an alliance, but 1 & 3 are at ends with each other, and I don’t see those groups mingling.  However, don’t count Tom & Colby out yet, I do believe JT to be holding the key.  The next tribal will have to be a strategic move by him, and whichever way he goes; the numbers will fall the other way.  Will he chose group 1, because he keeps numbers with his core group?  That is the way I would go.  If I were JT I would side with group 1, and pick off group 3 (one by one), beginning with Rupert!
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I am in competition with Jesse (who works in shipping), on who can lose the most weight this week,  as you can tell by my calorie numbers, I am a little worried.  I need to be on really good behavior this weekend.  If I win he is going to purchase floor mats for my truck ($25 value).  If I win he wants a $25 shell gift card for gas.
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HAWT-Y OF THE DAY!
Nicole Joraanstad

Nicole Joraanstad curling women's USA team olympics 2010

USA women's curling team

Nicole Joraanstad was picked out by Brad Houser, he really enjoyed watching curling, and I was at a loss for Hawties today.  I agree that she’s a looker!
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Breakfast: 2 special K bars (180); coffee (25)
Lunch: Italian BMT from subway (700)
Snack: 3 granola bars (420)
Dinner: salad and vegetables rice from Sirloin Stockade (700)

Total Calories:  2025 🙂
Total Exercise: carried drywall 😐

Volleyball 4-0 (without Kenney)

Kenney took a job with Cardinal Ethanol, and we miss him during our games, but we picked up Josh Miller who plays with us on Friday nights, and we won yet another game with missing a beat.

It took us a few points to get rolling and in the first match we were down 11-3, We buckled down (I even dove after a ball!) and we came out of the first match victorious with a 27-25 win.

The second match we defeated them 25-18, and it was still a good game with many good volleys.  Both teams were very good at digging up spikes, and this is one of the first games I played in, when you get a good set and a decent spike you better be prepared to get the ball back.

The “Back” team consisted of Bill Back, Michelle Back, Jeff Edwards, Chad Miller, Ronyelle Edwards, 1 uknown guy, and 2 unknown girls.
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We lost our phone and Internet connection at work, and Verizon was chasing their tail all day trying to locate the problem.  Their technician was hard working, but with all the snow and hurdles in his way, his progress was very slow.

Basically our entire second half of the day was brought to a stand still.
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HAWT-Y OF THE DAY!
Lindsey Jacobellis

U.S. Snowboarding team 2010 olympics

Wow!  I got a chance to watch more of the winter Olympics, and I knew immediately that I had found my Hawt-y!  She is strait awesome, and cute as a button.  She reminds me of my wife with her curly hair, and my wife sets the standard for beauty in my eyes.
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Breakfast: 2 special K bars (180); coffee (25)
Lunch: Shrimp quesadilla ( 700)
Snack: 2 yogurt (200); 2 granola bars (280); cereal (280)
Dinner: eggs, and sausage (600); milk (150)
Late: salad (350)

Total Calories:  2765 😦 — Wow Slow it down Matt!
Total Exercise: 1 hour of intense volleyball! 🙂

Snow Day – An ugly Truth

It’s snowing again, and everything is cancelled.  Jay County is again on a verge of yet it’s third “Snow Emergency” in 2 weeks.

It was really nice to relax on the couch without a care in the World.  I put on my earphones and tuned out the kids for about an hour or two.  Dev then popped in “An Ugly Truth” that he she rented from the local Redbox.  I enjoyed the movie.
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Pres. Obama shakes hands with Evan Bayh

Evan Bayh made a phenomenal change in the political world, and it surprises me.    I always said that it would be a great day, when Evan Bayh ran for president.  When I was in high school, he came and ran with our cross country team one day, and I thought that was really neat!

However, the way that he left congress was absurd.  I am sick of the Democrats letting the Republicans and their anti-Obama-agenda run the course on everything like a bunch of stubborn elephants.  It literally reminds me of the fat kid who sticks his bottom lip out, and crosses he legs and abruptly sits indian style on the ground with his arms woven like a pretzel.  You can’t talk any sense in to them, even if you want to meet half way!

I was walking through Meijer on Saturday, and I ran across a book that was was subtitled “how to beat the Obama agenda”.  I thought to myself: Gee, what is the Obama agenda..

  1. Help underprivileged families afford Health Care.
  2. Reduce pollutants in the World
  3. Bring back high paying jobs
  4. Tax the Rich

So for a man to determine to defeat the Obama agenda, would literally be against this agenda..  O.K. I can see the point on #4.  I mean we all know some rich people, right?  wrong!

100K – 250K — Upper Middle Class
8% of Americans make over 100K/yr  (Of this 8%) 75% of them have a negative net worth (meaning they owe more they than own).

250K – 500K — Lower Upper Class
2% of Americans make over 250K/ yr (of this 2%) 50% of them have a negative net worth (meaning they owe more than they own).

500K and UP – Capitalist Class A.K.A. “The Bankers”
0.4% of Americans

The reason why I dug up these stats, is because I wanted to make a point.  Wealth, it’s not a standard!  It’s a frame of mind.  It’s mere confidence, a facade (if you will).
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HAWT-Y OF THE DAY!
Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl burst onto my scene with Grey’s Anatomy when she played Izzie Stevens, an aspiring (yet ditsy) doctor.  She has done a couple movies since then.  Some of them have been less than stellar, but I chose her because of the movie I watched last night.  She was still fresh in my head, so enjoy!
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Breakfast: 2 special K bars (180); coffee (25)
Lunch: cup of soup (280); Starbucks (220)
Snack: 2 granola bars (180); yogurt (200); cheese (140)
Dinner: Salad (300); Eggar Madegger (350); turkey sandwich (200)

Total Calories:  2075 🙂
Total Exercise: 0 😦