Archive for the ‘’ Category

“a squat smiling comic figure used as a mascot”

Monday, June 1st, 2015

What is a Billiken?

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Yesterday, received over 1,000 visitors via Google asking the question: What is a Billiken?  Only 700 visitors asked themselves this important question in the previous year.

If you don’t know the answer to this question, here ya go.

Steve and Conference Tournaments

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Eleven years ago Thursday, my dad made me a bet. If SLU beat Cincinnati in the second round of the C-USA Tournament, we would drive to Memphis the next day to watch them play in the semi-finals. While listening in study hall freshman year of high school, Kenyon Martin broke his leg…and the month of March for Steve changed forever.

I have not missed a conference tournament since SLU won in the Miracle in Memphis. My journeys to conference tournaments have been somewhat humorous. So as I avoid work before seminar: a run down.

2000: Miracle in Memphis. SLU’s last tournament bid led by Justin Love. Think this picture is from then

2001: Second round SLU loss. Steve lugs desktop computer to Louisville to update The Rogers finally learn the art of buying conference tickets on the street.

2002: Drove to Cincy in the day with Mom. Marque Perry shoots a 3 half a second too late, drive home the next morning.

2003: Perry’s senior year. After willing SLU to 8 wins in a row, a layup wouldn’t fall and SLU loses in the second round.

2004: Steve’s first academic conflict with conference tournaments. A political theory professor said absolutely no rescheduling of the midterm. Steve then went into her office. Said he was going to be completely honest and “Can I reschedule my midterm so I can go to a basketball game?” She laughed and replied the only reason she would let it happen is because I didn’t even try to make something up. Old man Taj79 ( poster) drives Steve from DC to Cincy. SLU makes the Semi-Finals. Basketball hall of famer Oscar Robertson gets mad at Steve in semis for waving his signs as his Bearcats beats SLU.

2005: Steve’s first A-10 Tournament. Drove to Cincy with Dad to watch the Colonials win the A-10 Tournament. SLU had already lost in Memphis. The next week, I drove to Nashville and back in the same day for the only time I have ever seen my team in person in the Dance.

2006: SLU and GW now BOTH in the A-10. GW had gone 16-0 in the conference season. SLU had the 4 seed. Steve was sick, but slept in the back seat of a college friend’s car and drove from DC to Cincy. GW lost. Steve changed shirts. SLU lost. Steve goes home with aunt and uncle to St. Louis next day. That sucked.

2007: First A-10 Tournament in Atlantic City. Steve drives up with old man Taj79. SLU wins and a great night at the bar is had. Next day, SLU beats UMass in overtime. Steve changes shirts. GW beats St. Joes setting up a GW v. SLU Semi-Finals. It is the only game ever where I rooted against GW…and GW won. They then won the next night getting their third straight tourney bid. Favorite conference tournament ever.

2008: Steve was traveling for grad school visits. His preseason favorite school scheduled their visit during the A-10 tournament. Steve asked if he could come out a day early to bump up the visit. They agreed. After the visit, Steve red-eyed from the west coast to Philly. Aunt and uncle picked him up from Philly airport. Drove to AC. SLU lost in the first round. Steve bussed to DC the next morning. (GW didn’t make the tournament). Steve however learned his aunt is very good at slot machines.

2009: Things are finally easy because Steve lives in the same state as the tournament. SLU loses to Xavier in the second round after an OT win in the first round.

2010: Another academic conflict. Conversation went like this:

Adviser: Steve, could you present such and such next week in class?
Steve: Uh, I may not be here next week.
Adviser: ….Who are the Billikens playing?
Steve: Well, that depends on what happens Tuesday.
Adviser laughs
SLU then lost in the first round. Aunt however still good at slot machines.

2011: What prompted this post. Same adviser asked if Steve could do something Friday…Steve replied, lets relive what happened last year….

So if SLU beats Rhode Island tomorrow. The streak continues. If not, I need GW to make the semis.

Lets go Billikens.

Gift Giving

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

As some may know, I at times pride myself on my gift giving ability. I do not always hit home runs, but I generally put a considerable amount of thought into gifts. Given this, I must give props to my mother.

Last year, the east coast experienced “snowpocalypse.” (It was really east coasters just overcomplaining.) Anyway, the university shut down one day before a storm. I for some reason thought it would then be a good idea to drive to work. Well, snowpocalypse happened and my car got buried in snow at work. I had to dig it out only with an ice scraper. I got back to my apartment, and then had to dig my way into a spot. In a nutshell, this experience sucked.

My mother learned of this, and she got me a fantastic gift for Christmas. It is a snow shovel that disassembles into three pieces and goes into a small bag. It takes up very little trunk space and was exactly what I needed.

Well, Princeton got hit heavy by snow again last night. My friend Scott asked for help digging out his car. Since SLU v. GW is Saturday, I will need my car this weekend. So we dug out mine too. And that shovel did the trick.

So remember, it really pays off to put thought into your gifts.

Senate Servers

Friday, December 10th, 2010

In reading about Bernie Sanders’s filibuster today on Politico, I came across this:

Sanders’ office boasted that the Senate video servers had shut down after more than 12,000 people tried to tune in to his speech on their website.

Does it strike anyone else as odd that the Senate video servers can only serve 12,000 users at once? The Senate only needs to be able to be streamed to .004% of the population. I don’t know C-SPAN’s ratings, but this sort of seems pathetically sad that so few people watch our halls of Congress. (I fully admit, I have rarely done this myself.)

To put this in perspective, 1.15 million simultaneously streamed March Madness on this year. To put it in sadder perspective, during the NIT selection show had about 5% of the simulatenous traffic that the Bernie Sanders’s filibuster today. At least America loves its basketball.

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Today was the last major step in a summer long process for updating  Every few years I do a redesign, so this summer before the “lost” third year of a PhD program I did a redesign.  Updating each time forces me to learn a little more tech.  This update is probably my best coded design (it has the fewest Steve tweaks of bad code to make things look right..but yeah…there are still a few tweaks).

This is what the site looks like now

I actually cannot get a screen shot of what the site looked like for the last three years (Wayback Machine doesn’t render it right…probably because of my tweaks).  I also cannot find the first version of  But here is the progression between then (forgive the spacing).

My favorite design is probably this last one, but the current design is much easier to update and offers automatically updating content (e.g. imports RSS feeds).  Over the years, we have also been through three message board software packages: Talkshop, DCForum, and InvisionPowerBoard.  For the first message board, I had to manually register each user.  With the latest upgrade, people can register and post from their iPhone using a “mobile” theme.
I have been through a number of web hosts over the years…
  • ~ Who didn’t have an AOL or Geocities page at some point!
  • Armnet: is board with a whopping 20mb for $20 a month
  • Interland: More web space, but got hacked multiple times
  • Dreamhost: Super cheap, but would crash on occasion
  • GoDaddy: Still cheap (but lessso), very few problems

This past season, the message board became more popular.  GoDaddy puts a limit of 200 on how many concurrent connections you can have to the MySQL server.  This got exceeded pretty much every game from February on.  With the Rick Majerus era, the site gets more traffic.  It still has the old boys club, but there is some fresh blood.  To put it in perspective.  In August 2010, got as much traffic as it did in November 2008 (meaning a month before school starts got as much traffic as the first month of a season).

With these increases, (and its baby brother have moved to Virtual Private Server.  This again pushed my tech knowledge a ‘bit, but the fine folks at ServInt helped me out.  If this server can’t handle the traffic…well…I will be in a pickle.

So we have a new web design, upgraded forum software, and a powerful new server.  Now for that tournament bid…Heck, I was with Armnet the last time that happened.

SLU v. Princeton

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Who woulda thunk it?