The Bygone Ballparks of St. Louis

Now that Baseball season is upon us, I thought I’d share a link that was sent to me a couple of weeks ago. Distilled History has a great look at the history of baseball parks in St. Louis (please forgive the author for not being a Cardinals fan). I never realized how many there actually were, especially in north St. Louis. Growing up, I only really heard of Sportsman’s Park, and of course, Busch II & III.

Go check out the post. He has some great images and maps.

st. louis ballparks

Automatic iCloud Backups Killed My Internet Connection

For the past few months I’ve been experiencing intermittent connection issues with my home internet. The internet would stop working completely, on every device in the house, for a period of 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day. After a few months of experiencing this, I decided to finally start investigating. It was this past weekend when I finally noticed that about a minute after I plugged my iPhone into a charger, any charger, the internet would quit working. I was able to consistently recreate the issue. If I unplugged the phone right away, the internet would come back right away.

I figured out it was due to iCloud’s automatic backup when plugged in and on a known wireless network. So, when the phone starts to backup, the internet connection dies for all other devices while the backup is taking place, or tries to take place. Most of the time, iCloud backups on my home network fail 1. I did some searching on the internet to see if others have had similar issues and found a couple of posts, but no real solution. For a few days I thought I had fixed it by resetting the network settings on the phone. It looked like the small, but annoying problem, was finally resolved. Or so I thought.

While working from home yesterday, the problem returned. Plugged in the phone and the internet would stop working. Unplug it and internet is back. I’m not sure what the exact problem is. Is it a problem with the modem? The router? iOS? Last night I decided to update to the latest iOS 9.3 beta to see if backups become more reliable. So far, it does not look good. The phone was not able to backup to iCloud overnight. I will have to test more at home tonight to see if my connection dies the next time it tries to backup. I’m not sure what else to try at this point, besides disabling iCloud backups, but I’m not giving up yet. Suggestions welcome 2.

  1. Most successful backups I see are being made on my work’s network when my phone is plugged in during the day
  2. [email protected] or @shep on Twitter

How Far is Planet 9?

This excellent video by a former NASA employee does a great job explaining just how far Planet 9, the mysterious planet that exists way past Pluto, is from our Sun. The planet is so far from the sun that it takes 15,000 Earth years to orbit the sun once.

Cutting the Cord (Sort of)

A couple of months ago I decided to do something I never thought I would do. I cut the cord. Sort of. 

In December I decided to cancel my cable. The bill was getting too high and I have been watching less and less traditional TV. Many of the shows I watch over the past few years have ended or I lost interest in them (looking at you The Walking Dead). Many of the shows I continued to watch I found I could watch the next day on Hulu, of which I was a subscriber. I also found many new shows that rivaled the quality of network and cable shows, even premium cable shows, on Hulu and Netflix. So, I made the decision to cut the cord.

Currently, I subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon (a bonus of my Prime shipping subscription) and HBO Now. The only show that I currently watch but cannot get on these services is AMC’s Better Call Saul. Well, that was the case until this week. Charter, the cable company in my area, is offering their version of the Sling TV service called Charter Spectrum Stream. For $20 a month you get some popular cable channels (TBS, FX, ESPN, and AMC among others) plus either HBO or Showtime. So for $5 more a month I can get HBO plus some other cable channels including AMC for Better Call Saul. I can then cancel HBO Now. One of the other upsides to the service is that you get the local channels (even the alternate HD local channels that no one ever watches). This was great for me since, even with an antenna, I couldn’t get any local channels over the air (not entirely true. If I touched a co-ax cable to the window frame and grounding the signal, I could get 3-4 local channels. Trust me, it works). 

This is almost TV as I want it to be. I am paying for the channels I watch the most and can watch my shows whenever I want without the added cost of a DVR. It will be interesting to see how this continues to evolve over the next few years as more and more people cut the cord and opt to watch TV in non-traditional ways. The only thing I have yet to figure out is how to watch Cardinals baseball this summer (without using MLB at Bat and a DNS routing service). I think sports will be the last hope that traditional cable and satellite subscriptions have. Once the various leagues wake up to the potential of offering sports without a cable subscription, I will be set. But I’m not holding my breath. 

The Best Rapper Alive, Every Year Since 1979

tupac

Complex magazine has come up with a list of the best rapper for each year since 1979. It’s crazy when you look through the ’90s and see how much talent existed in the hip hop community. That fact becomes especially obvious when you start comparing the list to the 2000s – 2010s (Drake on the list multiple times, really?).

My personal favorite is, of course, Tupac.

1996 is a case study for every aspect of why 2Pac is so celebrated. He was a viable, competent artist in multiple arenas, and he had the discipline to incorporate his varied and conflicted missions into a single mantra. That savvy paid off in this year more than any other. It’s a shame that 2Pac’s ride had to end early, and on someone else’s terms, but the dedication to his craft that was on such full display in 1996 is why he’ll live forever.

 

Meet Spike

IMG_0120After not having a dog for a couple of months I decided it was time to bring another fur ball into the house. I missed the companionship and, while nothing could ever replace Penny, decided it was time to start looking for a new dog. I knew I wanted to adopt a rescue. I also knew I wanted a small dog and wanted one that was already housebroken. I started my search, hitting up the humane society, looking on PetFinder, and going to adoption events as PetsMart. It took a few weeks of searching, but I finally found a handsome fella to bring home.

Spike is a 2 year old terrier mix (he looks like he has some corgi in him). I actually adopted him on his birthday. He’s a sweet little guy that loves to be pet. I’ve had him for a couple of months now and he has settled in quite nice. I’m still trying to teach him how to play (he’s not interested in playing, just wants to be pet and scratched). He’s pretty hesitant of new people but he took to me right away. I’m glad I was able to provide a home for him.

Why Do People in Old Movies Talk Weird?

Have you ever watched an old movie and wondered why everyone sounds just a little off? Did people really talk like that? What accent is it? Brainstuff has your answers in the video below.

I’ve always been fascinated with the Transatlantic accent (or Mid-Atlantic accent) and knew it was common in the early 20th century, but never knew how or why it got that way. The video gives a great explanation.