The Haphazard Blog


Ben Roethlisberger Settled with His Accuser

by on Apr.14, 2010, under Football, News, Sports

From what I heard on Monday, it seems pretty clear that Ben Roethlisberger settled with his accuser to avoid prosecution.

From the facts stated by the district attorney, something happened in the bathroom, but the accuser decided she didn’t want to pursue the matter and Roethlisberger was not going to speak with investigators any further.

After the district attorney announced his decision, Roethlisberger made a statement to the media and took no questions. There was a very big difference in his tone compared to what he had to say when he was hit with a civil suit for sexual assault. He denied all of the accusations in no uncertain terms and even his teammates echoed similar sentiments. He was telling everyone it wasn’t true. This time, he did not apologize for any of his actions. He made no denials. He only spoke of the prosecutor’s decision being right, about himself and football.

From this, I gather there was a confidential financial settlement in which Roethlisberger paid some money; he agreed not to attack the accuser; and he agreed not to deny the allegations. The accuser agreed not to pursue charges and did not have to recant (and perjure herself). The final proof will be no civil suit will be filed. Given the evidence and facts that the district attorney laid out, Roethlisberger would’ve had a hard time winning that case.

He still has the other case to deal with. I would expect that during any depositions, he would be asked about a settlement in this case and would have to answer. So it may just be a matter of time before we all know if he settled and how much he paid.

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What Is Wrong With Some People?

by on Jan.27, 2010, under News

Yesterday I read a column in the Boston Globe about a 15 year old girl who was basically bullied so much, she hung her self. This seems to happen every couple of months where we hear a story about a kid in school committing suicide that was picked on constantly. I’ve never seen it com to a level where the bullies were proud of what they had done. No remorse, not even indifference, but openly proud like they accomplished what they had set out to do. It’s also inexcusable that the school has taken no action with this much information out there.

When I was in grade school, there were bullies. For the most part everyone was picked on and/or picked on someone else at some point. But now with social networking and basically every kid having their own cell phone there is no getting away from it. You might get picked on during recess or on the bus, but then you would go home and that was it. No one would really be able to call your house and continue the abuse or just knock on your door. Now with text messaging and social networking (IM, Facebook, Myspace, etc.) the mental abuse continues all the time. You never get away and bullies can act more cowardly as they hide behind their PCs and iPhones.

I’m going to be interested to see what happens to those girls. Seems like there are plenty of people who know about them and how far they go. Certainly seems like this could’ve been avoided without the benefit of hindsight. It’s really sad.

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Skyscrapers Have Me Thinking

by on Jan.09, 2010, under News, Politics

With the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai it reminded me of a couple things. It’s a sad reminder about how inefficient the United States has become in so many areas. Politically we can’t make positive progress on much. Healthcare reform has been bounced around in Congress for six months now. There still hasn’t been any work done to adjust regulations for financial institutions. Matt Drudge purposely lets the ignorant know global warming is a joke. I’m sure climate change will also end up going nowhere.

Nothing illustrates how ineffective and inefficient we are than 1 World Trade Center (The Freedom Tower). There was a time where the biggest skyscrapers were being built here. People would set out to build something and it would get done. Now, over eight years after the attacks, there is still nothing there. What is supposed to be a symbol that the terrorists won’t win is around 200 feet of steel so far. Estimated completion date is 2013, over 7 years after the groundbreaking and nearly 12 years after the attacks at an estimated cost of $3.5B.  Comparing that to the Burj: Ground breaking to completion was 5 years, 4 months; Total cost was $1.5B; Nearly 1M more square feet; 1,000 feet taller (1,350 feet if you exclude the antennas.). In summary, for $2B more, we get a smaller building that takes longer to build.

The other thing the Burj reminded me about was a science fair project I had done in 8th or 9thgrade. My friend Mike and I did a project called “How High can a Skyscraper Go?”. The answer ended up being pretty much as high as you want. There would be logistical issues to overcome (plumbing, elevators, etc.) but structurally the sky really was the limit. In retrospect, the project probably should’ve focused on a specific height instead of being open ended. But that’s not why I was thinking about it. I was talking to Mike recently and he mentioned that he saw a design that looked like the model we had built back then. Unfortunately he couldn’t remember where he saw it. We build it with balsa wood and hot glue. It was about 6 feet tall, but I’m told it no longer exists. Since I didn’t have any pictures of it, I spent part of the day messing with Google SketchUp to create a mock-up of it.

Mile High Skyscraper in SketchUp

If anyone recognizes it from somewhere, let me know. I want a commission or at least some credit!

Google SketchUp is a pretty good product, especially considering it is free. For someone with a more artistically geared mind than me, I bet it works great. You are always working in 3D. There are very few drawing tools which keeps it simple, but it’s very capable. I wanted to design a house, but I don’t think that is the best thing to use. It’s a little too generic for that purpose in my opinion. Better to use something geared just for that purpose.

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Falling Behind

by on Jan.01, 2010, under Entertainment, Life, News, Politics, Site News, Sports, Technology

Well, as you can probably tell by the huge gap in posts (a lot in September, less in October and nothing since), I got behind. More to the point, I had other things going on in life.

I tried to keep notes on things to blog about and I was going to back fill the blog with them. It’s kind of pointless though. It would not reflect what I was really thinking at the time. Instead, it would’ve been a mix of what I thought at the time with some hindsight. That seems somewhat disingenuous, and it’s not like there are all that many readers of this blog that are waiting for my incredible insight into random things.

Another thing I will not do is make any resolutions for New Years to blog every day or any nonsense like that. I am starting anew, and it is a new year, but it’s more coincidence. I’ve had the last couple days off from work and I’m not so busy. I wasted my afternoon watching WVU get beat by an inferior (on paper) Florida State in the Kiss Bobby Bowden’s Ass Bowl. Then by about 5 minutes into the second half it was evident WVU was going to be killed by Purdue in basketball. So, I’ll quickly touch on the stuff I had taken notes on over the last couple months. It should be apropos of the blog’s title.

Patriots are up and down this season. That Colts loss was brutal. I can not remember the last time the Patriots got beat as badly as they did by the Saints. Have they ever benched Brady because they were losing? Pure domination over the Jaguars. Can they get the job done when it counts? We’ll see in 2 weeks if they get to play the Colts or Chargers.

Why do announcers and writers call so many hits to the QB that result in a flag the “Brady Rule”? It’s really only hits below the knees when the defender is on the ground. Low hits were banned after the Steelers took out Carson Palmer.

I admit I am somewhat a fairweather fan when it comes to the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics. I don’t follow them all that closely during the regular season. Nothing like the Patriots. I know they won the World series again in 2007, but I still keep wishing they re-signed Orlando Cabrera. They still haven’t found a shortstop.

President Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize. He didn’t do anything to earn it. The Republican reaction. Predictable and overboard. There really is no need to pile onto the obvious.

Microsoft needs a much better way to install an upgrade version of Windows 7. Many enthusiasts reinstall their OS often. Having to install XP or Vista first is ridiculous. They should allow people to submit their old XP/Vista key and the Windows 7 upgrade key and receive a regular Windows 7 key to do a true clean installation.

I got a cold in mid-October. I figured maybe I should get the Flu shots. I hadn’t had one in probably 10 years. I called my doctor, a Physiatrist who should be very familiar with the needs of people with spinal cord injuries, to see if I should be trying to get the H1N1 shot ASAP. Her response: Ask my primary care physician. That does not feel right at all. I think I need a new Physiatrist. They said I should, but there’s no waitlist. I needed to call and see if they were in on my own. That got old/tedious fast. Long story short, I didn’t get either and got the flu 2 weeks ago. I still have a cough. There’s supposedly a second wave expected, so I guess I still will end up getting the shot. The flu sucked. I did not get the flu in over 10 years. I can’t decide if it’s better to keep avoiding the shot or not.

I read this article in Rolling Stone about some stock option sales that netted insane profits during the financial crisis in 2008. It’s quite upsetting. I don’t see any reason they can’t figure out the people involved and charge them with crimes. Is everyone complicit in this? Everything is such a mess. It feels like no one is going to do anything about Wall Street. For the most part, no one on the government side took advantage of the leverage they had during the crisis. Now the remaining Wall Street giants are back to making huge profits. I would too if the government loaned me money at 0% that I then could loan out at 4-5%+.

I didn’t write a follow-up Fall TV post. So here’s a quick rundown. Hank stunk (ABC agreed and cancelled it). The Middle is better than Cougar Town but not Modern Family. White Collar is an interesting crime drama, but Leverage is better. I liked V and never saw any incarnation of it before.

The anniversary of the JFK assassination came and went. At least for me, the computer simulation Dale Myers did helped me realize that I forgot about the windshield on the limo. That eliminates so many angles for a shooter on the ground. Oswald makes the most sense. It doesn’t preclude a grander conspiracy per se, but I think the ones about who the shooter was and where the shooter was just don’t cut it.

I got a new PC. It is pretty fast compared to the old one. Everything is snappier. On the old one, things ran well, but I notice they run better on here. Use less CPU time. I still need to get everything transferred over. I have a lot of PC housekeeping I need to do. Consolidate to one machine. Build a new machine for my Dad. replace the 802.11b cards with 802.11g ones so my network can run at G speeds. I can’t stream all of my HD video over wireless B speeds. Then I need to send back my old/broken PC.

We got a pretty good World Cup draw. Hopefully that will help the U.S. avoid a last place, no wins finish in their group again.

I’m hoping to go to the Formula 1 race in Montreal in June.

Health Care “reform” is looking like a train wreck. The Democrats are so disorganized. They stripped out everything the Republicans didn’t want and they still won’t get any votes. If that’s going to be the case, why even bother to appease them? You are going to end up with either all the blame or taking credit, why pass something you don’t like much? I think in the long term, we’re in serious trouble. Nothing the government is doing makes sense for the long term. The Congress can’t do anything but appease special interest groups/lobbyists. I think the smartest people are getting theirs now before everything goes south. Get a lot of money in the bank now with little regard to long term consequences. A lot of good talk from President Obama, and I know change doesn’t happen overnight, but I’m not even seeing any indication that change may happen. It’s business as usual in Congress.

This attempted Christmas Day plane bomber story is very weird with the stories from the lawyer about how the guy tried to get on the plane in Amsterdam, the second person being arrested and a possible second bomb in the luggage. I could understand them not wanting to disclose in order to aid their investigation. I’ll be interested to see what comes of it.

I got Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS. It’s a neat game. I’m not even 10% through it and it is challenging. How do you “defeat” a tornado? Destroy steel spikes?

I’m thoroughly enjoying the Colts resting starters meltdown. It has so badly blown up in their faces. They went about it in the worst way possible and every defense of it that Bill Polian throws out there makes no sense. Obsessed with the Patriots much?

If you read all of this, I commend you. I also want to wish everyone out there a Happy New Year!

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Breast Cancer Awareness and the NFL

by on Oct.01, 2009, under Football, News, Sports

This week I’ve read and heard from writers and commentators some variation on “real men don’t wear pink” in reaction to NFL players who will be wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness this month. To be fair, they also commended the NFL and players for doing it. I’ve never been accused of going out too much, but do any of these people get out, watch TV or look at magazines? I see men wearing dress shirts and ties that either contain pink or are all pink. Even on air people at ESPN will have some pink in their shirts or ties at times. I know I’ve seen Tom Brady wearing stuff with pink in it during post game press conferences. Now it’s some big deal for players to wear pink cleats or gloves. I think we’re quite a bit beyond “real men don’t wear pink”.

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Roman Polanski Supporters?

by on Sep.30, 2009, under News

It’s astounding how many celebrities think Roman Polanski should be set free. That seems like a very big disconnect between those who support him in Hollywood and the average person. I’m shocked Woody Allen leads the list.

I’d say I have lost respect for the following people, but I don’t know any of them. I respect their talents as artists, but anyone who doesn’t feel that Polanski should finally face his punishment for such a horrific act and should be set free have a serious problem. What he did is simply indefensible. He was free to do whatever he wanted for over 30 years.

Some notable people who want him released by the Swiss:

Darren Aronofsky (Director, Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler)
David Lynch (Director, Twin Peaks, Mullholland Dr.)
John Landis (Director, Animal House, The Blues Brothers)
Jonathan Demme (Director, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia)
Martin Scorsese (Director, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York)
Michael Mann (Producer, Heat, The Insider, Ali, The Aviator)
Monica Bellucci (Actress, Dracula, Matrix Series)
Sam Mendes (Director, American Beauty)
Steven Soderbergh (Director, Pleasantville, Erin Brockovich, Ocean’s Series, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind)
Terry Gilliam (Director, Monty Python Series, Brazil, Twelve Monkeys)
Tilda Swinton (Actress, Chronicles of Narnia Series, The Curios Case of Benjamin Button)
Wes Anderson (Writer/Director, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited)

The directors seem to stick together.  Maybe the director’s guild pushed it?  In any case, I really can not understand how this guy has so much support without him ever saying he didn’t do what he was accused of doing.

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Roman Polanski Deserves to Rot in Jail

by on Sep.27, 2009, under News

I was a little too delighted to read that Roman Polanski was nabbed by the Swiss. I don’t know him personally, I really shouldn’t care. I think I first really knew who he was after he won the Oscar for The Piano. I couldn’t believe someone who drugged and raped a 13 year old, and then fled to avoid jail won an award. Child molesters are given a special place at the very bottom of the depths of society. They are the bottom of the prison food chain. Who would vote to give him an award? Who would work with him freely?  As far as I can tell, he doesn’t even deny any of it. A forty-something and a 13 year old! Why is this guy better than all the other child rapists? Because he made some good movies?

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