Monday, September 29, 2008

Train Wreck

As soon as I start feeling good, talking about our "flying start," we go careening off the rails against Hull City at home, losing 2-1.

It was Fulham all over again - but worse.

For the first time in over 100 years, the Hull City Tigers (they even sound like a little league team) got a promotion from the second division to play with the big boys in the upper ranks of English football.

And boy, did they take their shot.

And they beat us at home.

Gotta give those Tigers credit.

Wenger said the match made him "physically sick."

Me too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Australian Rules...

While Arsenal are storming the EPL, somewhere on the other side of the world, Lis is watching ARF - that's right - Australian Rules Football.

For those of us who only know of AFL because Russell Crowe is a huge fan and co-owner (go South Sydney Rabbitoh's!), ARF is basically rugby - the inspiration for american football that combines soccer and kill the carrier (did anyone else play this as a kid?).

Lis sent me this excerpt from a website explaining the whole crazy, sport

1.9 Why are umpires 'booed' off the ground ?

In a large proportion of matches, whenever the umpires leave the field at half-time or the end of the match, the majority of the crowd will 'boo' them as they leave. Although more prevalent at games where the home team is losing (lost) and received controversial umpiring decisions against them, that doesn't explain this common action. Some propose that it comes from Australian's anti-authoritarian feelings as an ex-convict settlement that leads supporters to generally dislike umpires, but now, it comes as almost a tradition that the umpires are hated.

Gotta love the wild west aspect of it all.

Typical Australian outlaws.

Long live Chopper.

There's Carlos Vela...

After a rough takeoff, looks like we're cruising with a flying start in the league.


6-0 to Arsenal, with a sound thumping of Sheffield United in Carling Cup action this week.

Hat trick by Vela in his first league start.

Brace by Bendtner.

Goal for 16-year-old Englishman, Jack Wilshire.

I was checking the score on my iPhone in a DC airport and it was impressive to see the goal tally keep rising with each page refresh.

(iPhone battery - not so impressive)

My initial concerns about a thin squad seem bloated and ridiculous at present.

Exciting stuff and we still haven't seen the best from some of our big guns.

Just need to pace ourselves - we were leading the league last season until the final two months.

Spring is a long way away...

Carling goals here.

AAPL 131.44
(not bad, considering our economy is in a nosedive)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Looking For Miza?


We’re very pleased to finally pull back the curtain on this little Flash website we’ve been working on, along with the good folks at ESI Design. is the companion website for the children’s book, “Looking For Miza,” published by Turtle Pond in conjunction with Scholastic Corporation.

“Looking For Miza” is the true story of a baby Congolese mountain gorilla who is rescued by her family and returned home after her mother’s death.

The book and website are designed to raise awareness and promote education about the plight of the mountain gorillas in Africa.

The project is part of the Clinton Global Initiative and will be featured as part of the first-ever Kids Gorilla Summit in a live webcast on September 26th.

It’s easy to get behind this one and as an added bonus we got to work with some very creative and talented people who let us strut our stuff.

The site features activities and games that include:
  • Interactive video maker that lets kids make audio/video mash-ups of their favorite wildlife clips
  • Gorilla nose print matching game
  • Videos, animated shorts, resources, sing-along activities and much, much more...
  • And one of my personal favorites, Jungle Jammer – a game that where kids can arrange different musical African animals in a selected environment and watch them get down to the resulting funky beat.
But the crowning achievement for us in this entire production is Gorilla Mountain – a multi-level platform jumping game where users control a ranger as they navigate through the mountains searching for Mountain Gorillas – think Donkey Kong meets Pitfall.

The website launched today but we’ll be tuning it and adding features as we go.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What's My Name?

Busy working on a proposal but I can't not say anything about the 4-0 thrashing of Blackburn over the weekend.

I only caught part of the first half on internet pirate video - RVP had already scored (set-up by wonder boy, Walcott) which is always nice but Blackburn was pressing for most of the half - it seemed like it could swing either way...

Then, as the half was winding down, a beautiful team effort from Arsenal - first probing down the right side and finsding nothing - pushing it back out into their own half and down the left, leading to a Denilson cross and an Adebayor header for a goal.

Seriously, I think everyone but Alumnia touched the ball on that build up - classic stuff and an absolute back breaker for Blackburn.

I checked the score later to see Adebayor scored two more - not too shabby.

Oh, and did I mention lucky Liverpool beat Man U?

Things are suddenly looking up...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Awesome Walcott...

All hail Theo Walcott, the new King of England!

This may be the first time I've seen an Arsenal player so joyfully embraced by two Man U players - Rooney and Ferdinand, no less, but if Theo and Rooney keep playing together like this, it surely won't be the last.

All of England loves Theo after his hat trick defeated Croatia 4-1, in a match that England needed so desperately after looking so pitiful for so many years.

I haven't been following England much over the last couple of years and I'm not a big fan of the international disruption to Arsenal's flow (especially with Nasri picking up a knee knock along the way) but I'm all smiles for Theo.


Now bring some of that magic back to Arsenal!

Google Chrome Beta Review...

I asked the new guy, Jim Bail, to check it out and here's what he thinks:

General Impressions

I personally like to keep my browser as minimal as possible, so I immediately liked the no frills look of Chrome. All you get are tabs, an address bar, basic page navigation buttons and access to a fairly limited set of options/preferences via a couple of unobtrusive buttons on the upper right. If you cringe when you try to check your email on the relatives computer and have to contend with 75 different toolbars and widgets, you'll probably like Chrome. There are even some nice subtle details like the ability to make a tab it's own window by simply dragging it off the tabs bar, or reversing the process to make a separate window a tab. The tabs also have a nice smooth motion and snap-to effect when you move them around that gives a responsive feel. Overall, Chrome looks polished without resorting to a Vista-esque shiny button extravaganza, and all of the important controls are in natural, easy to use places. The one exception is bookmarks. If you don't have the bookmarks toolbar enabled, there doesn't appear to be any way to access them via the regular menus.

In terms of rendering pages, I didn't come across anything unusual. Like Safari, Chrome is based on Webkit, so there shouldn't be any big surprises in terms of standards compliance and things of that sort. Speed wise, I'd say it holds up well with the rest of the major browsers. I'm not one to notice if one browser takes an extra half second to load a page compared to another, so in that regard I thought it was fine.

Interesting/Useful Features

- Google search integrated with address bar. Whereas Firefox 3 attempts to autofill based on your browsing history and bookmarks, Chrome offers the additional option of a google search. So for example, if you type "ny" you get the options to search google for ny times and nyu. I believe these hints are based on common searches by the public as opposed to your individual search history (since I've never searched for NYU on my testing machine)

- The search/address bar will also look at your history and search terms as you're typing. So again, if you type "ny" you get the option to see the most recent 3 pages from your browsing history that contain the term "ny"

- You can define multiple pages to open on startup, so for example you can have webmail, news and whatever else you want in their own tabs when you fire up the browser.

- Homepage defaults to a series of links/screenshots of your most visited sites based on your history.

- Built in task manager lets you see how pages and plugins are using your system resources. If you get a site that's causing problems, this will help identify the culprit without having to close everything down.

Things I'd Like To See

- User created/added extensions like Firefox. They can be incredibly useful.
- Developer tools: There are some basic code inspection/debugging tools built in, but it would be nice to have something more robust along the lines of Firebug or the Web Developer extensions available for Firefox.
- Ability to customize address bar: I'm sure this will be added, but right now you can't do things like add a Home button.
- Full tree view of bookmarks so you can expand more than one folder at a time

The Final Verdict

I'd say Chrome gets a thumbs up. It's definitely not for the feature fanatics out there in it's present state, but I'm sure the basic option/preference sets that people are used to in other browsers will eventually get filled in. If they add a more extensive set of developer tools, I might be tempted to switch from Firefox, but for now there are a handful of must have extensions that I'm not willing to forgo just for the sake of a nicer looking UI and more sophisticated address bar functionality. In a nutshell, it's a good start and I appreciate the fact that Google focused on the core functionality of their browser and didn't get hung up trying to include all kinds of bells and whistles. By and large, I like the way they've thought through common browser tasks and come up with some novel and efficient approaches to getting the basics done. Definitely worth keeping an eye on, to see how it continues to develop.

If you're looking for more Chrome, check out the comic here

AAPL - 151.61

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


We Skyped with Lis today and I'm happy to report all is well in Australia.

It was the end of the day for us but the crack of dawn for her.

It's also on the chilly side as their winter winds down.

I know, everything is all screwy.

Which made for a perfect start to our first Artgig Australia Skype - at first, Lis had only video and we had only audio.

Pretty funny.

Just a matter of setting some preferences and we got the show on the road.

Lis sent some pics from the top of a mountain in Canberra - her teenage son went on an impromptu four hour stroll without telling anyone.

Anyway, I think we can count on this blog getting some nice sprinkles from Australia to keep the flavor fresh and lively.

She also sent this link - a really smart short that's worth checking out:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Advantage United...

Well the transfer window slammed shut at midnight yesterday and it looks like a long road ahead without reinforcements.

I'm beginnng to think Wenger has his head in the clouds - perhaps our sparkling display against Newcastle came at the wrong time.

Maybe we'd have a new shirt printed right now if we'd lost.

How can he believe we'll be any different from last season while still lacking depth at key positions?

Does he really expect Fabregas to carry this team on his back - again?

We all know if he goes down, the season is over.

Looks like we'll be biting our nails and crossing our fingers until January, at least.

The only good news to come of transfer day is that Man City hijacked the Robinho to Chelsea deal for something like $60 million - three times what he was making at Real Madrid.

What will Chelsea do with all those Robinho shirts they printed?

Suddenly, Man City is the new Chelsea on the block with new owners who are looking to splash the cash.

Word on the street is they want Cristiano Ronaldo next.

Of course, just when I was thinking Man U was also going to miss out on their target, they made some noise - finally signing Dimitar Berbatov in preparation for a world without Ronaldo because it's clear he's moving on after this season.

Advantage United.

Awesome Arsenal...

First match at the Emirates this season and it was a beauty.

3-0 to the Arsenal.

Arsenal were an absolute pleasure to watch as they totally outclassed and undressed Newcastle - it could have easily been 6-0 if it weren't for the exceptional Shane Given in goal.

It was a total team effort and Arsenal were back to their fluid, artistic style of attack.

The return of Fabregas might just have something to do with it.

This is the Arsenal I love.

Everyone got in on the action, even the awful Eboue looked good (and dare I say clever with that little shuffle and backpass to Van Persie to set up a nice sliding goal).

Just as I was dreaming up a new name for Van Rusty, he came storming back as Newcastle's worst nightmare.

I loved the camera cut to Newcastle's owner, Mike Ashley, chugging a full pint in the stands, sucking it absolutely dry as the despair piled on.

A perfect example of perfect football on Denilson's first ever Premier League goal:

Denilson wins a header in our half and passes to RVP...

Who passes to Nasri...

Who passes to Denilson...

Who passes to Ade...

Who passes back to Denilson on the run...

Who shoots between the defenders legs and past Shane Givens, who is so flabbergasted at this point he flops right on his back.

Brilliant stuff.

And, while I generally prefer a clean game, who couldn't help but smile when Nasri tripped the smirking and snarling Joey Barton, only moments after he tried a jailhouse tackle on Nasri.

I like this Nasri kid more and more every day...