A fine start to Friday with Martha Stewart getting prison time and Lance Armstrong making a big statement in the mountains of France. I don’t really care much either way about Martha, but I’d much rather hear her give a defiant speech against an adverse ruling than hear her gloat if she had got her way. Meanwhile, Lance gained back nearly half of the time he trailed the overall leader of the Tour de France by, jumping to second place overall, and left several of his prime rivals well behind him in another classic Armstrong climb.

I owe Billy Belford credit for sharing the Brushback link I posted earlier in the week. He forwarded the “story” about the sick child wanting Barry Bonds to get kicked in the nads to me.

One of the things I hate about getting older is how language changes. I’m not talking about slang, which you’re pretty much locked into repeating what your age group said when they were 26. I’m talking about everyday identifiers that change. Example: I’ve never been a big flip-flop sandal guy. Part of it comes from having gnarled toes after years of abuse through running and basketball. Also contributing was the lifetime contract I signed with Nike many years ago. I enjoy rocking sneaks rather than sandals. Working from home, however, caused a change of heart last year, and I’ve become quite fond of padding around the house to the gentle slap-slap of my Teva flip-flops. Where I run into problems, though, is in what to call them. I last regularly wore flip-flops when I was about five years old. At the time, they were called thongs more often than flip-flops. For whatever reason, my mind is having an extremely hard time with the change of terms and I often tell people I’ve really enjoyed wearing my thongs. Only when they give me a funny look do I correct myself. Remind me to never again start doing something I haven’t done for 20 years again in case of future changes in language that cause me embarrassment.

As many of you know, I’m in a career-planning phase. I’ll say more about it publicly once official word comes down from the powers that be, but suffice it to say that I’m in a mode of thinking about what the next stage of my career should entail. I was playing around on monster.com yesterday and ran across some of those quizzes that ask a series of questions, and then offer a generic industry that your personality, values, and work ethic seem predisposed to. First, I hate these things because they are so generic. Second, they offer a paragraph synopsis of what my ideal field is, then say if I want more information, I need to pay them some money. In one case, it was only $19.00, which I’m sure was for a general career guide with a page added showing my test results. Another, however, asked me to drop nearly $400 on a complete career assessment that included live, professional assistance. Why don’t they tell me this up front? I really should know better, I guess. Oh, one test told me I was analytical and another said I was best suited for a career in writing/journalism. I needed a test to tell me that?

Most of you should have received a message from my new .mac e-mail account earlier this week. That made me think, how many e-mail addresses have I had in my life? Allowing for the fact I first got on-line in the fall of 1994 (Yes, a full retrospective of my connected life will be issued to mark the occasion), and I spent several years on AOL, where you can add/change/delete accounts as easy as breathing, it’s really quite a daunting task. However, a quick jog of the memory puts me between in the range of 15 accounts. Really quite ridiculous, and totally indicative of the fact I was looking at things for most of the 90s I really don’t want my wife and daughter to know about. Breakdown is something like this:
Work accounts: 1
Free Internet services (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc): ~3
Non-AOL ISPs (RoadRunner, .Mac, Mindspring, etc): ~5
AOL: >5
I can always tell our tech department my work account is getting swamped with SPAM and they can issue a new one to me there.

I’ve got thoughts on the Shaquille O’Neal trade and the Pacers acquiring Stephen Jackson I’ll share later.