Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I.P., Rochester, NY

Well...this is very interesting.

You may recall a recent post about some odd SPAM I'd been getting as responses to my new site, Sports Greats Journalism Archive.  I get e-mail notifications of these pending comments.  Here's what they look like:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Computer Network??

Today while I was working with folders in my computer, I accidentally clicked on the "Network" folder.  I seem to recall looking in it once or twice at some point in the distant past, but I don't recall seeing anything like this:

You know, I'm slightly computer-idiotic to say the least.  What does all of this mean?  Should I be concerned?  I didn't even know I was on a "network."  I know that two of the computers listed across the bottom are ones I see in my Windows Media Player "Other Library" choices.  Not sure how specific computers end up there.  Similar music tastes, maybe?  It's that big field of blue screen icons that interests me.   I Googled me up some info that indicates "Workgroup" is the default group name of your computer.  But, still--why these computers specifically?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quitters Inc.

I've never read a Stephen King novel, though it's always been in the back of my mind to do so.  A friend just happened to tell me about King's short story, Quitters Inc.  I haven't seen anybody with severed fingers around, but the plot line sounds very, very familiar.

Elements of A Valid Contract
The parties to the contract must be of legal age, sane, sober, of sound mind and
under no legal handicap or duress. Persons who might lack legal capacity are minors, people who are intoxicated or those adjudged incompetent.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Strange SPAM at SGJA

Since I moved Sports Greats Journalism Archive to Wordpress, I've discovered that when someone comments on a post there, I get the I.P. address info.  I think some of these hackers can hijack and I.P. address, but still, there must be some significance to the address I see.  There are also websites that can tell you the location of the I.P.  I've got a couple from China that I think are just random, generic spam.  Here are a few very strange comments I find noteworthy.  Sometimes I think someone's trying to communicate to me in code.  Naaaaa--I must be crazy: 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Letter to S.I. Regarding Lance Armstrong

J. Paul Zoccali
San Francisco, CA  

Editor, The Mail
Sports Illustrated

Re: Scorecard/"Finished," September 3, 2012 Issue

Dear Editor,

Bravo on your recent article, "Finished," which very neatly wraps up the Lance Armstrong doping scandal fairly and with perfect pitch.  60% of those surveyed not believing Armstrong is guilty, despite USADA's stockpile of damning testimony staring him in the face, serves as an apt illustration of an instance in which passion for sports heroes can be a bad thing.  Indeed, it is inarguable that if Armstrong was not concerned about being officially exposed by a guilty verdict, his stance would be, "Let's go to court, so I can spank your ass right out in the open."  I know mine would be, whether I had a personal dynasty at stake or not.

Best Regards,
J.Paul Zoccali


Monday, August 20, 2012

A Glimpse of Pre-Giuliani New York

This is really interesting for someone who didn't arrive in New York until late 1996.  The drastic changes that occurred there during the mid-90s were a common and sometimes polarizing topic among New Yorkers then, with many hard-scrabble natives bemoaning the "Disney-fication" of Times Square, etc.  Nevertheless, I heard some things about the old upper west side that were hard to believe after seeing how relatively clean and crime-free it was in '97 and after.

This clip says it all.  In six years in the city, including residing in two different burroughs, I never saw graffiti inside a subway car anything like this: 

It might also surprise you to know that around '99 or so, New York ranked No. 1 as the safest big city in America.  Hard to believe, I know.  Whether you love or hate Rudy Giuliani, he was widely popular as Mayor there until he made the controversial move of pushing for the removal of a work of art from the Brooklyn Art Museum.  Of course, his lasting legacy will be his cool-handed leadership during and after the events of September 11, 2001.  In the end, I'm sure most New Yorkers would agree he did a great deal to make the city a better place.

See the full blog-post about that subway ride here:


Friday, August 17, 2012

Ad Age Report: A&E Beams Ads Into Your Head

Since I've been working on the new blog, Sports Greats Journalism Archive, I've been doing some research on advertising and marketing.  In the process, I stumbled on this very interesting article from Ad Age magazine--a respected source in the field--on a billboard that targets individual passers-by with a direct message from an audio spotlight.  The product on the billboard is the cable-TV program, "Paranormal State" appearing on--where else?--A&E.



Friday, August 10, 2012

Favicon Trouble in Blogger

You know, I've been so busy working on my new blog, Sports Greats Journalism Archive, that I've been neglecting C.B.S. a bit.  Of course, it's morphed into nothing but a log of strange computer and Internet "glitches" I experience anyway.  In my more paranoid-schizophrenic moments, I'm compelled to think it's all part of a DNS attack.  But why would anyone want to do that to li'l ol' me?

Well, I created a favicon for the future home of Sports Greats Journalism Archive, which you can visit here:  (Someone mentioned something to me about having the domain name.  Check.)  A favicon is that itty-bitty square with the site logo that appears in the browser tab and your bookmarks.  Here's the Sports Greats Journalism Archive favicon:

Cool, huh?  I like it because of the obscure rock music reference. (If only "2SG" was appropriate and would fit in that tiny little square.)  So, I thought, why not add the favicon to the current SGJA blog on blogger?

In this blogger interface page, you can see a long rectangle in the upper left corner of  the blue area labeled, "Favicon."  In the bottom right of that rectangle is the "edit" link:

Simple, right?  Well, I uploaded the image successfully, as you can see indicated in the image above, but like the many other the gadgets (WordPress calls them widgets.) I've attempted to add to the blog, the favicon does not appear.  I've refreshed the window several times.  The only gadgets that appear on my blog are default ones, I take it--blog archive and e-mail subscription--those tiny little vertical grey tabs on the right at SGJA.  It's really strange, especially considering that, as shown above, the image uploaded successfully.

In case you're wondering, "gadgets" are features such as the ones seen in the column on the right of this blog with links to other blogs, hit counter way down on the right, and my photo.  There are many others.  I've attempted to add several to Sports Greats Journalism Archive, but none appear.

Odd, no?

While we're at it, I guess I should mention this, too.  Below is an image of what you see when you first start a blog in blogger.  It's the generic look of the template before you make visual aesthetic decisions, etc:  

For whatever reason, I'd say maybe half the time I click on SGJA to open it, the version you see above is what opens.  I get the felling this really is just a glitch in blogger because the new blogger platform interface has many options and changes may take time to take effect.  Nevertheless, I can't help but wonder if that's what other people are seeing when they visit.  I've looked at the site on other computers and it usually appears correctly.  Maybe it's just my computer.


Monday, July 16, 2012

New York Angels No-Go

Nope--it's not a major league baseball mix-up.  New York Angels is a seed-funding private investment group.  In yet another cyber oddity on my computer, their website simply will not open. 

The last time I had this problem was with, as you might recall, blogger previews and before that, my Twitter account.  There have been other such oddities I haven't posted.  I would call  it strange, but I've gotten used to it.  I guess I must be on to something.  (I'll find the right person.)


Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Computer Is Strange

It's usually very, very slow.  I apply for a couple security jobs on line and now it's flyin'. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Northrop Grumman Systems Is Now Hiring

From The Job Search Oddities Dept.

I never get e-mail from Montser--until now.  I've been on Monster off and on since before I started getting stalked and harassed by political, corporate, etc. operatives in mid-2009.  I think my "field"  is listed on Monster as communication and writing.  Nowhere in my experience will you find a hint of "technical writing," and certainly not "Knowledge of XML data used in production of MIL-STD-400051 and/or ASD S1000D" or "Familiarity with AS9100 and CMMI."  Also, as far as I know, I don't qualify for this: "Must have the capability to receive and hold a Top Secret clearance."    I guess there must be a glitch in Monster's profile information aggregator because I just got this e-mail out of the blue... 
About the Job:

Northrop Grumman Information Systems sector is seeking a Technical Editor and Writer 3 to join our team of qualified, diverse individuals. This position will be located in Sacramento, CA.
Where Technology and Teamwork come together supporting mission critical equipment for global security. The qualified applicant will become part of Northrop Grumman Corporation Information Systems Sector supporting the AN/ASQ-230 (ASIP) SIGINT sensors installed on the Global Hawk aircraft that deploys worldwide.

Responsibilities Include:
  • Writes, rewrites and/or edits technical documents such as technical procedure manuals, user manuals, programming manuals, service manuals, operational specifications, and related technical publications to communicate clearly and effectively technical specifications and instructions to a wide range of audiences.
  • Acquires subject knowledge by interviewing product developers, observing performance of production methods, referring to technical specifications, blueprints, engineering illustrations, and trade journals.
  • Oversees preparation of illustrative materials, selecting drawings, sketches, diagrams and charts.
  • Conducts quality review of materials.
  • Develop end user technical documentation and training materials for the Integrated Logistic Support group using XML editor interface and various graphic/multimedia packages.
  • Represents organization as a prime contact on contracts or projects.
  • Interacts with senior internal and external personnel on significant matters often requiring coordination between organizations.
  • May develop and deliver presentations.
Requirements Include:
  • 6 Years with Bachelors; 4 Years with Masters (may consider experience in leui of degree)
  • Knowledge of XML data used in production of MIL-STD-400051 and/or ASD S1000D essential.
  • Strong communication skills and familiarity with Microsoft Office software is key and essential.
  • Familiarity with AS9100 and CMMI helpful.
  • Must be a US citizen and have the capability to receive and hold a Top Secret clearance.
Apply Now

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sullinger Solid; Tribe Stinks with #1 Closer; 8-Team Field For CFB Playoff

C.B.S. Sports Notes

Sullinger Will Be Solid
Ohio State product, Jared Sullinger was a hot topic in last week's NBA draft.  League GMs' reservations regarding a back injury that nagged the 6', 9" forward last year were compounded by questions about his skill set and height, and how that combination might translate to pro ball.  All things considered, Sullinger was very appropriately snatched up by the Boston Celtics with the 21st pick in the draft.  Regardless of physical issues, Jared Sullinger never was a lottery pick as he was hyped to be.   It's true: he's a power forward by trade but falls an inch or two short at that position in the NBA.  It's also true that he has a combination of tools, including a jump-hook he can dump in from seemingly any angle, which ensured a first-round selection.

Boston GM Danny Ainge zeroing in on Sullinger makes perfect sense.  Maybe the former Celtics gritty hustler recalls from the his playing days a big man with a certain Boston nemesis .  When I think of Sullinger, the first player I'm reminded of is 6', 1" forward/center, Mychal Thompson as he fit on the late 80s championship Lakers teams--the perfect utility man to fill out a starting line full of stars.  That's Sullinger.  Expect a very solid NBA career in which he either starts or gets quality time as a 6th-man role, rebounds well, bangs around and defends very effectively down low, helps out with 15 or so points a game and otherwise picks up the slack for the go-to guys--very effectively.  Think Rick Mahorn or Charles Oakley with a few extra chops on offense.  Don't be surprised if he wins a 6th-man-of-the-year award at some point or even sneaks into an all-star game or two.  Plain and simple: he's not a small forward which is what his height would dictate in the NBA.  Another well-evidenced knock on Sullinger is that his shots get swatted too often inside.  If that was a problem in college ball, what could alleviate it in the bigs?  If anything, it might get worse.  He won't be a super-star.

Tribe Has Leading Closer; Sits at .500
According to my handy-dandy S.I. app, outspoken Cleveland Indians closer, Chris Perez is tied for the lead in saves in the majors.  Opposing batters are hitting .171 against Perez who was just selected for his second straight All-Star appearance.  Also according to my S.I. app, the Cleveland Indians are one game above .500 which is good enough for second place in the less than impressive AL Central.

Comparing any team--in any sport, really--to the New York Yankees is unfair.  Nevertheless, it's no secret that the one constant on the great Yankees teams of the past 15+ years has been Mariano Rivera who is generally considered the greatest closer ever.  Oh, but those teams were full of super-stars, right?  Really?  Take another look at the late-90s Yankees teams.  Yes--the teams that won the World Series in '96, '98, '99, and '00.  They had a young Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams and Paul O'Neil, sure, but none were bona fide super-stars at that point though those three were very, very popular and very, very good players.  Rivera's major league debut was with the Yankees in May of '95.  The mighty Yankees last World Series win prior to Rivera's sophomore year was some time in the late 70s.  The math isn't that difficult.  What else?  Let's see...

There are 2 closers currently tied with Perez for the lead in saves: a J. Johnson of the Orioles and a C. Kimbrel of Atlanta.  The Orioles' record is 42-35, the Braves, 41-36.  Yep--I'm taking the very long way around to say something very simple (I write for the sake of writing.): If your team is sitting at .500 in the worst division in baseball and has the best closer in the game, your team simply must otherwise be pretty bad.  Oh, no, wait--the tribe still has Grady Sizemore.  Apparently his injury-proneness, highlighted by a knee problem, has prevented the Yankees from snatching the potential Hall-of-Famer from the rusty jaws of Cleveland despair.  Poor Grady.  Memo to Brian Cashman:  Give ol' Grady one last look, will ya?  He deserves better.

Perfect College Football Playoff-Field Size?  8
I was going to write an in-depth opinion on the size of the playoff field in college football, but straight-talking sports caster, Bob Costas nearly said it all in a recent tweet on the subject:  "Need an 8 team w/conf. champs and 2 at large, rotate btwn 6 bowls. Keep bowl system, get a real champ."

All I might add is that I suspect that the majority of the college football world is in agreement that 16 teams is too many--with MAC and Mountain West schools keeping dissenting opinion alive--as it would devalue the regular season, the main argument of CFB playoff detractors.  I have come to agree with that sentiment after originally thinking a 16-team field would be best.  With a 16-team playoff, the possibility exists that the top 2 or 3 teams in the nation would have the option of pulling their stars in their final regular-season or even their conference championship game, however unlikely that might seem, and still get a playoff berth.  I doubt any team would take such a chance with an 8-team field.  Also, with an 8-team field, season-ending clashes between 1-loss and undefeated rivals--which has been known to happen between between Ohio State and Michigan, for example, or in many conference championship games--would, in effect, be for a playoff berth.  With a 16-team field, the loser of such a game would still have playoff hopes.  8's the best number.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Former NFL Guard's Story Similar to Chris Brymer's

In a March, 2011 Tampa Bay Times article, Stephen F. Holder writes of former Buccaneers offensive lineman, Aaron Sears and his suffering from apparent mental instability.  Sears is the most recent NFL vet to join the class-action suit against the league involving debilitating brain injuries.  Sears' story is similar to that of former USC standout, Chris Brymer--also an offensive lineman:

"Media Coverage of Hidden Brain Damage Mounts" --J. Paul Zoccali, Communication By Symbol


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Groping by TSA Screeners a "Self-Entangled" Mess

Here's a post from Los Angeles Airlines/Airport Examiner Joel Sigfried about airport security screeners groping passengers' breasts and genitalia.  I pass it on because I watched the exact scenario described happen to my terminally ill, elderly mother as she sit in her wheelchair--in tears.

Woman charged with groping TSA supervisor in Fort Myers, Fla.


Monday, May 21, 2012

An Editorial Note on CTE and Offensive Linemen

A Glimpse of CTE Litigants by Position--So Far

J. Paul Zoccali

In my October 13, 2010 post, "Media Coverage of Hidden Brain Damage Mounts," I stated that Owen Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania football player who committed suicide was an offensive lineman.  In Sports Illustrated's coverage of the death of Junior Seau, it was indicated that Thomas was a defensive end.   In a September 14, 2010 article, "Penn's Owen Thomas had CTE," ESPN referred to Thomas as...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Long Sentences

If you've read my writing, particularly the Brymer piece, you know I have a bit of a long-sentence problem.  I'm not proud of it, but I've got it in check.  As of today, I have no more reason to feel guilty about it.

This is hilarious:


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A "Behind the Scenes" Look at C.B.S. Photography

Remember this shot?

Occupy Oakland 15 (1-28-12)

This is the first time I've watched the video.  You can see me snapping the shot above (if you care to) at...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Al Franken on "Target" Regarding Location Privacy and Stalking Apps

In a recent opinion piece appearing on, Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) examines the issue of information and location privacy in the digital world.  Franken, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology & the Law, introduced last June the Location Privacy Protection Act.  The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), calls for...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Heartless Bastards Solidify on "Arrow"

J. Paul Zoccali

As satisfying and artistically impressive as the Heartless Bastards' first three LPs are, there was always something not quite right with the final product.  A dense cloud of inspired lyrical ideas swirling around lead-singer/writer Erika Wennerstrom seemed to dissipate in the wind of hit-or-miss execution.  Growling guitars and rumbling drums remained cramped in a recording style that offered no room to breath.  Final mixes varied too much from song to song within the same album.

Many, if not all, of those issues have been rectified on the band's latest gem, Arrow, their first effort with Partisan Records.  From the explosive conclusion of the set's opening benediction, "Marathon," to the 70s-metal closer, "Down in the Canyon," the garage-rockers' eclectic-Americana style of punk rock alternately flies with the Eagles and explodes like an ill-fated Zeppelin on a dark Sabbath.  (Did I hear a theremin in "Simple Feeling?")  A refreshingly "loosened" recording and mastering style that permits evidence the band is indeed being recorded in a room in a studio as apposed to through a vacuum holds true throughout the set.  That just-right tweak in warmth and sharpness of sound combines with a coalescing song-crafting dynamic to push the Austin-via-Cinci quartet's art closer to critical mass than ever before without sacrificing their soon-to-be-trademark guttural punch.

Shaking off the Texas mud adds to Wennerstrom's ethereal guided tours of vast prairie in "Skin and Bone" and "The Arrow Killed the Beast," as well as gnarly-rock sledgehammers, "Gotta Have Rock and Roll" and "Late in the Night."  Instrumental parts and arrangements with better focus and less fluff show a group that's truly found themselves.  That said, while this album marks her biggest step yet, Ms. Wennerstrom still hasn't hit her stride as a lyricist.  I greatly appreciate the grammatical correctness, but on occasion she seems too dedicated to complete sentences.  Maybe she should take a page from the band's new producer, Jim Eno's notes, and loosen up a bit and make full use of the poetic license she's got coming to her.   Still, if a better Indie-Rock album comes out this year, someone please bring it to my attention.

4.5 stars out of 5

Friday, February 17, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Occupiers, Serious Air & Bouncing Dragons

Well, I'd like to post all the things I learned about photography over the weekend, but there's just too much.  Here's a few of the best shots I got around town:

Occupy SF 4

Occupy SF 3

Occupy SF 2


Afternoon Flight

Alternate Flight Path


The Golden Dragon

Gung Hei Fat Choi!!  (Would you like fries with that?)

The Yellow Dragon

As luck would have it, during a very frustrating shoot, one of the very best shots I got is of Ronald McDonald. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

By the way... (Passport Fun)

This is going to play out right here on C.B.S., step by step.  It's news-worthy to a degree.

I recently applied for a passport.  I have no privacy whatsoever and various occurrences in my life over the past few years make it abundantly clear that there is nothing the United States federal government doesn't know about me.  I applied with an official copy of my Ohio Birth Certificate and a California Driver's License a Post Office Clerk made a photocopy of.  Nevertheless, I received this reply:

I should have used a flash, but you can read it.  This came with it:

The mailing also included a 5-page "Supplemental Worksheet" asking for every place I've ever lived, worked, or gone to school, and for my immediate family memebers' names.  I already started filling it out, so I'm not going to post it.  When I got it, I called the number provided and the kid who answered acted like he wasn't familiar with the letter and asked me to read it aloud to him.  I did.  Obviously, they record these calls and can use that recording as proof that I received the letter should the need to do so arise.  Why else would he ask me to read it?  Somehow, the friendly folks at the U.S. government got my name wrong, too.  Of course, it's easy to see how a C can be mistaken for a G, but I think the name was on the application 4 or 5 times including my parents' names in addition to being very clearly printed out on the birth certificate and the driver's license.  And, of course, I know damn well they know my name.  Maybe this is all quite normal, but the day before I got it, some  guy lookin' all sharp and acting slightly nervous (He must be new.) walked by me and made the comment, "Sorry to cut you off."  Once in a while, people stand behind me somewhere and make comments about how great my life could be and of course, occasionally threaten to prevent me from obtaining employment.  Fascinating.  Just fascinating.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gung Hei Fat Choi!

May Prosperity be with You

I see a number of different spellings on line, so I can't tell you for sure if that one's right, but what it is, is a standard Chinese Happy New Year greeting.  I heard someone say it means to wish the person a "big" year.  Apparently, the most direct translation is "May prosperity be with you."  The first time I heard it was at the yearly press conference announcing the Lunar (Chinese) New Year celebration here in San Francisco.  Lunar New Year's Day is this coming Monday, January 23rd.  By coincidence, I happened to be near the main gate to Chinatown at the just the right time when they were setting up for the announcement and questions.  I thought, "What the hell--I've got nothing else to do, so I'll play photojournalist with my phone."  I had to use the zoom, so the pics are really, really poor in image quality, but it was a great exercise nonetheless:

As the opening remarks were made, the scene was in full sun.  By the time the last person was done speaking, the entire scene was in shade.  It's all about not catching anyone making a funny face.  I think it's mostly taking a lot of shots and hoping for the best, but I get the feeling veterans actually know how to catch the right moments.  Ideally, you want to catch the speaker gesturing without a funny face.  I also noticed that, in general, women gesture more often and more emphatically than men do.  And, of course, the pics should be cropped properly.  Then you've got look-space and head-space and all that really basic stuff.  I took 32 pictures and these 4 are the only ones I'd let see the light of day.  That doesn't mean they're good:

Mayor Ed Lee

I think that first shot is a typically acceptable zoom and angle and decent overall for the most part, but there are still some distracting things in it, such as the reflection of the sun in the badge, the big grin, and the guy looking to the left, all of which I've marked here:

Neat how I put those arrows in there, huh?

Well, I got a new camera:

I sure hope it doesn't take long to learn how to use it.

(May prosperity be with me.)


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CaChaVa Art Blog

The other day wasn't the first time I've noticed someone sketching me at a cafe.  It's an epidemic in this town.  This time I got a look at the product:

Not a bad likeness, particularly for a 10-minute job.  That's the artist, Caitlin Van Arsdale peeking around the back of her sketch pad.  See more developed samples of her art on her blog, Cachava: Drawings and Other Things...

Good luck, Caitlin.