Dueling Good Days

As an amateur historian and hip hop aficionado, I found the research of what day in history is actually Ice Cube’s “Good Day” fascinating. Murk Avenue breaks down the clues of Ice Cube’s It Was a Good Day to pinpoint the day.

CLUE 1:
“went to short dogs house, they was watching Yo MTV RAPS”
Yo MTV RAPS first aired:
Aug 6th 1988

CLUE 2:
Ice Cubes single “today was a good day” released on:
Feb 23 1993

CLUE 3:
”The Lakers beat the Super Sonics”
Dates between Yo MTV Raps air date AUGUST 6 1988 and the release of the single FEBRUARY 23 1993 where the Lakers beat the Super Sonics:
Nov 11 1988    114-103
Nov 30 1988    110-106
Apr    4 1989    115-97
Apr  23 1989    121-117
Jan  17 1990    100-90
Feb  28 1990    112-107
Mar  25 1990    116-94
Apr  17  1990    102-101
Jan  18  1991    105-96
Mar  24  1991    113-96
Apr  21  1991    103-100
Jan  20  1992    116-110

CLUE 4:
Dates of those Laker wins over SuperSonics where it was a clear day with no Smog:
Nov 30 1988
Apr   4  1989
Jan 18  1991
Jan 20  1992

CLUE 5:
“Got a beep from Kim, and she can fuck all night”
beepers weren’t adopted by mobile phone companies until the 1990s. Dates left where mobile beepers were availible to public:
Jan 18 1991
Jan 20 1992

CLUE 6:
Ice Cube starred in the film “Boyz in the hood” that released late Summer of 1991, but was being filmed mid-late 1990 early 1991 and Ice Cube was busy on set filming the movie Jan 18 1991 too busy to be lounging around the streets with no plans. Ladies and Gentlemen..

The ONLY day where:
Yo MTV Raps was on air
It was a clear and smogless day
Beepers were commercially sold
Lakers beat the SuperSonics
and Ice Cube had no events to attend was…

JANUARY 20 1992
National Good Day Day

Of course, it’s not that easy. Someone else has already set to disprove the day of January 20, 1992 as being the Good Day. 

Pujols Signs with the Angels

“Do I want to be in St Louis forever? Of course. People from other teams want to play in STL and are jealous that we are in STL because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you leave a place like STL to go somewhere else and make 3 or 4 more million a year? It’s not about money, I already got my money. It’s about winning, that’s it”.
-Albert Pujols Feb 15, 2009

He reportedly signed a 10 year contract worth $255 million (which is $3-4 million per year more than what the Cardinals reportedly offered).

Shaving Old School

merkur safety razorApparently the new thing in men’s grooming isn’t so new afterall. Shaving with a one bladed safety razor is becoming stylish again. Why, do you ask? Well, simply put, it gives you a better shave. It turns out newer isn’t always better.

About a month ago I started searching for ways to beat my constant razor burn. I used a Gillette Fusion Proglide Turbo (and almost every Gillette razor before that) and would constantly get razor burns on different parts of my face. Google searches showed me a few articles about how using an old safety razor is the way to go. Even though it is only one blade and runs directly along your face (instead of being protected by plastic strips that modern razors use), it actually does provide a smoother shave that creates less irritation than modern razors. Not only that, but it delivers a closer shave because safety razors are not hindered by plastic strips to “protect” your face.

After doing the research, I decided to jump face first into the world of Old School Shaving. I ordered a Merkur 180 Long Handled Razor, as well as shaving soap, a shaving stand, a badger hair shaving brush, and a shaving mug. The first couple of shaves took some getting used to. When shaving with a safety razor, you do not use the same amount of pressure you use with a normal razor. Because I was used to applying quite a bit of pressure in order to get a close shave, I cut myself a few times. You also have to get the angle right. The reason it is called a safety razor is because the blade can only make contact with your skin at certain angles. Otherwise, you just get the metal of the razor gliding across your face. After the first couple of shaves, I was a pro.

Three weeks in and I still love shaving the old fashioned way. Not only does it provide a superior shave, but in the long run, it works out to be cheaper. After the initial cost of the supplies, blades and shaving soap are a fraction of the cost of razor cartridges and shaving cream. Sure, it takes about two or three minutes longer in the morning (you have to lather your own shaving soap), but it’s totally worth it. My face stays smoother longer, I get less irritation after shaving, and, well, it definitely feels more manly. This is how my grandpas used to shave. If it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

The Future of Piece of Shep

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t posted anything here in a while. Even the last post was not really a post. I guess I don’t have much to say, nor do I know what to do with this blog anymore.

I started a blog (that I post at almost as less frequently as here) to showcase some more professional and work related posts and topics. Definitely a lot more censored than this one. That being said, what becomes of this one? Do I still post here? Will this still be the ramblings of shep (as opposed to the ramblings of my birth name, which is my other blog)? I’m not sure.

In the meantime, this blog will still exist, if nothing else than for archival purposes. I still get a fair amount of traffic here from Google searches on a variety of topics and I definitely don’t want to keep people from finding information they may find valuable.

I guess if the mood strikes, I’ll blog here again. We shall see.

We’ll Do It Live

You might have noticed that I had several test posts today. Normally, I do testing on a local server, but the issue I was trying to track down was a problem with my webhost. I had no other option so I said, F it. We’ll do it live.

All humor aside, the problem I was having was that YOURLS, my URL shortener that posts new blog posts automatically to twitter with my novelty shep.in urls, was not working properly. It was not able to actually write the URL to the YOURLS database. Basically, this is because Host Gator has mod_security enabled. In the past this hasn’t really been an issue because they would just whitelist the applicable rules. Unfortunately, the rules they had whitelisted were no longer working and YOURLS was failing.

After several trouble tickets back and forth, I finally decided it wasn’t worth it to host my URL shortening domains (shep.in and tvtalk.it for Let’s Talk About TV) with Hostgator. It was becoming too much of a hassle to ensure that everything was working properly. Even though I usually love Host Gator, I decided to move these domains to A Small Orange. Their Tiny Plan, which is all I need for URLs that redirect, costs only $25 a year. Well worth not having the headaches of making sure the mod_security rules continue to work.

The only thing left to do is wait for GoDaddy to change the nameservers on tvtalk.it (it has to be accepted by an Italian registrar before the changes can be made, which takes up to 5 business days). Actually, I will have to wait longer. Because I was not aware there was this waiting period, I changed the nameservers to A Small Orange’s. I’ve since decided to sign up at Zone Edit and use their nameservers, that way if something like this ever happens again I can just change the A record for the domain. So that can be up to an additional 5 business days.

So, sorry for the tests. I believe I have everything figured out fine now and you should not see anymore test posts in your feeds and/or twitter.

Chinese villagers ‘descended from Roman soldiers’

This is absolutely fascinating.

Tests found that the DNA of some villagers in Liqian, on the fringes of the Gobi Desert in north-western China, was 56 per cent Caucasian in origin.

Many of the villagers have blue or green eyes, long noses and even fair hair, prompting speculation that they have European blood…

The genetic tests have leant weight to the theory that Roman legionaries settled in the area in the first century BC after fleeing a disastrous battle.

The clash took place in 53BC between an army led by Marcus Crassus, a Roman general, and a larger force of Parthians, from what is now Iran, bringing to an abrupt halt the Roman Empire’s eastwards expansion.

Thousands of Romans were slaughtered and Crassus himself was beheaded, but some legionaries were said to have escaped the fighting and marched east to elude the enemy.

They supposedly fought as mercenaries in a war between the Huns and the Chinese in 36BC – Chinese chroniclers refer to the capture of a “fish-scale formation” of troops, a possible reference to the “tortoise” phalanx formation perfected by legionnaries. The wandering Roman soldiers are thought to have been released and to have settled on the steppes of western China.

The theory was first put forward in the 1950s by Homer Dubs, a professor of Chinese history at Oxford University.

Even if not true, it is a great story.

Uverse Vs Fox Sports Midwest: They Fight, Fans Lose

Starting this season, Fox Sports Midwest will carry all of the Cardinals baseball games. In the past, local channels would carry some of the games (KPLR, then KSDK). Because Fox Sports Midwest decided to carry all the games this year, they thought they could jack up the price for the channel (or for the rights to show those additional 20 games). Some companies did not agree. Most of the companies in dispute were small-time cable companies in rural areas. The major providers, such as the satellite providers as well as Charter Cable, agreed to the new fees. AT&T’s Uverse did not. They had months and months to come to terms, but they just figured it’s only 20 games, who cares.

Well, AT&T, one of your biggest Uverse markets is also the best baseball town in America. We want to watch EVERY game. We are some of the most loyal fans in all of baseball. By not showing those games you will be losing a lot of money from customers you’ve pissed off, either by giving them discounts on their bill or by watching them leave completely. Is it really worth it? I’ve already had one of your sales people offer me $25 off a month for the next 6 months and promise (and yes, I verified with him what he was actually promising) that the dispute would be resolved by today. Nothing like telling a lie to keep a customer, right?

As for me? Even with the discount offered, I think it’s time to say goodbye. I have been a Uverse customer for over 2 years and have watched them move the sports channels to higher tiers, increased fees for services, and now, take away games promised to air. I can take my business somewhere else where I will be sure to have access to every game.

UPDATE: In case you’re sticking with Uverse and want the discount (we’re missing games, time to hit AT&T where it hurts), call 1-800-288-2020 and ask for customer retention. Tell them you’re unhappy about the situation and demand a discount. I’ve seen some people get offered $15 off a month for 6 months, but they gave me $25 off a month. I wouldn’t go any lower than that.