Tech PRose

December 23, 2010

20 Things That Will Become Obsolete This Decade

Filed under: Kevin Johnson,Social Media,Technology Industry — techimage @ 4:42 pm

I’m not a real big fan of the Puffington Host (hat tip: James Taranto), but this is an excellent compilation.   Can you even imagine what will become obsolete next decade when we are reading something similar in 2020?  Wow.

20 Things That Will Become Obsolete This Decade
Courtesy of The Huffington Post

Kevin Johnson

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March 19, 2010

The Who: Old? How about Great!

Filed under: Kevin Johnson,Reviews — techimage @ 10:40 am

I love football. I love the Super Bowl. I’ve been attending the same Super Bowl party with friends in Buffalo Grove for well over ten years now. My buddy and host, Ben Crown, has everything.  He and his wife Michele are the best. Good eats, good drink, gambling games and many, many high-def television sets all over the house. And Ben pays attention to the sound as well. It’s always a treat to watch the game there.

So now you combine the Super Bowl with my all-time favorite rock ‘n roll band; The Who? I was a kid in a candy store. For the first time in my life, I was more excited about the halftime show than the game itself (although it was a great game, obviously). I had seen the unbelievable acoustic performance Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey put on during the NFL Network news conference on Thursday of Super Bowl week (still have it on the DVR).

OK, this won’t shock you: I thought the 12-minute show was great. It was a tough chore, but I liked the way Roger edited the five classic songs into a medley.  I loved the way the stage was set up and used and the pyrotechnics didn’t get in the way as it does sometimes. The band I thought sounded great, Roger in particular. As usual, The Who put a smile on my face that couldn’t get knocked off for anything. Except for the criticism the “show” received afterwards in some circles. It was weird. So many people vehemently opined that they thought the band was terrible yet it seemed most of the criticism centered on how “old” the band (especially Pete) looked. Terrible? C’mon. OK, let’s stipulate. They are old. We can’t get around that. So what?

In my mind, that’s what makes their performance all the more spectacular. But I’m old too. Perhaps the younger generation is resentful that these geezers can still do it better than they can? Or they hate the face that the classic rock of my generation is still holding up and compares favorably to whatever has come after it? To each its own, I guess. 

But you watch. Next year you are going to see a “younger” halftime band that I’ve never heard of. That’s OK. I usually hate the hour long halftime shows you get at the Super Bowl anyway. I’ll be to catch up on my eating and drinking again.

–Reviewed by Kevin Johnson

February 22, 2010

Fighting Illini Basketball

Filed under: Kevin Johnson,Reviews — techimage @ 8:16 am

Normally, we are supposed to provide a review of a current movie or book in these posts. I just adopted a son from Ethiopia. I haven’t sniffed a movie or a good book in ages.  So I’m going to “review” the one thing I have been able to watch on a regular basis, even here in Madison, WI—the 2010 University of Illinois basketball team (thanks Big Ten Network).

In short, the Illini this year have been inconsistent. Stretches of good play, followed by stretches of drought. On both a macro and micro basis. Going scoreless for extended minutes in games has been a factor in almost all of their losses so far this season. And I’ve never seen an Illini team get its “dobber” down so easily. A couple of things go wrong and it appears they throw in the towel. Yet, this team has made some amazing comebacks this season—especially coming from 23 down at Clemson in December for a big win. Very much a Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde type team.Basketball

The problem with this year’s team is defense, rebounding and overall toughness. Individually, the biggest problem has been junior forward Mike Davis. He’s been like the football team’s Juice Williams. Should be getting better each year but isn’t. And the coaches are pulling their hair out trying to figure out why. Davis disappears for too long in games, loses too confidence easily and is a lousy defender. Yet he has the potential to average a double-double in points and rebounds every night. If he ever figures it out, the Illini could go some places.

As it is, we are still in the hunt for an NCAA tournament bid. The biggest reason is junior guard Dimitri McCamey. He’s another one who has caused migraines for the coaches but primarily because he hadn’t been listening and learning about leadership. But he’s finally growing up a bit and getting it. His recent games have been stellar. He’s almost single-handedly won a couple of games lately and that has put the Illini back in the post-season picture. We’ve got some tough games coming up. Anything can happen. But I’ll be watching and, usually, cursing every step of the way.

Here’s a link to the University of Illinois athletic website for more info, stats and stuff:  http://www.fightingillini.com

Go Illini.

–Reviewed by Kevin Johnson

January 27, 2010

The Best Gift

Filed under: Kevin Johnson — techimage @ 9:59 am

My wife and I recently adopted a son from Ethiopia. It will either be the most rewarding and challenging experience of my life—or it will kill me. Just kidding.

It is amazing where life takes you. Actually, I’m thrilled to be a new father again, after raising two sons (ages 25 and 23) from a previous marriage. Believe me; many of my friends have questioned my sanity.  But I knew this was “part of the deal” when I married my wonderful wife, Melissa, three years ago. And I can think of no better way to “give back” in the remaining years of my life than to help raise a beautiful toddler boy to adulthood.

We got back from Ethiopia on January 8th. We spent ten days there, staying primarily at the guest house of the adoption agency we worked with (Children’s Home Society and Family Services).  We were able to spend a couple of days sightseeing in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. A large and bustling city that offers sights, sounds and smells that I never thought in a million years I’d be experiencing.  But the people are beautiful and so were the countryside and the mountains. Perfect weather too. Sunny and 78 degrees each and every day. 

All the trials and tribulations we went through in this long process, and there were many, all seemed to disappear when we were finally introduced to Yirgalem on this trip.  We even had the opportunity to travel several hours to the region where Yirgie was born.  And we had a brief yet emotional meeting with his father. And the sight of his eyes lighting up when he saw the latest picture of his son was something I’ll never forget.  We received his blessing to raise his boy and we promised to do the best we could to provide all that his father wanted for him.

I’ll say this—CHSFS does a wonderful job “transitioning” the kids from the orphanage to our care. It was little by little, day by day. Of course, there is a whole lot more transitioning that needs to take place here in Wisconsin and it is happening—but it is going to take a while and patience is the key thing.  But our boy is generally healthy (yet tiny) with the normal problems associated with bringing somebody over from Africa.  We plan on calling him Nathan or Nate and he slowly, but surely, getting used to his new name. We will keep Yirgalem for his middle name and we will make sure he is aware and proud of his cultural heritage.

He’s wailing right now as I write this (teething big time) and I’m running on fumes on this day with not much sleep. But to see his wonderful friendly smile each and every day makes it all worth it. I hope you all can see that in the picture nearby. Untitled  

— Reviewed by Kevin Johnson

November 24, 2009

The Book of Basketball—The NBA According to The Sports Guy

Filed under: Kevin Johnson,Reviews,Uncategorized — techimage @ 9:14 am

I just finished reading The Book of Basketball  the mammoth 700-page take on the NBA from Bill Simmons, the celebrated columnist for ESPN.com known as “The Sports Guy”. Book of bball

You must first know that Bill Simmons loves the NBA.  Really loves it.  He’s been a Boston Celtics “season ticket holder” with his Dad since he was a real young lad. He now holds season tickets, for better or worse, for the Los Angeles Clippers. So this book was obviously a labor of love. He even risked his marriage with this three-year odyssey by reading untold volumes of NBA books (actually he tells you which books he read at the end) and watching hours upon hours of old games on video. This whole book is Bill’s opinion but you can’t deny it is an informed opinion.  And he openly admits his Celtic biases when it matters.

He wrote the book to “evaluate why certain players and teams mattered more than others”–all based on “The Secret” as explained to him by Isiah Thomas, a frequent target of barbed criticism from Bill throughout his career. It is crucial to understand “The Secret” and it applies to organized, competitive team basketball at any level or playing pick-up in the back-yard. And if you applied “The Secret” in your own game, you will enjoy this book immensely.

I am a regular reader of Bill’s column so the thought of 700 pages, written in Bill’s casual and humorous style wouldn’t scare me off at all. This book, as always, is loaded with Bill’s trademark cultural references, liberally applied in footnote fashion, which never really becomes a distraction. Being a bit older than Bill, I’m happy to report that I got most of his references.

Even thought I am not as passionate about the NBA as I used to be, especially during the Michael Jordan era of the Chicago Bulls (Michael is thoroughly covered in the book and even beats out Bill Russell as Bill’s selection as the “best of all time”), but I do love basketball and I love Bill Simmons as a writer, so I couldn’t go wrong with "The Book of Basketball. "

–Reviewed by Kevin Johnson

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