Sunday, January 22, 2006

Go Steelers Redux

Not only has it been a long time since my last post, but it has been exactly a year since my last post on my hometown NFL football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sadly, last year we lost the AFC championship. This year we won it against the Denver Bronco's. This means we are off to the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks. Superbowl XL is on February 5th, 2006. In preparation, my blog banner has been updated to "All Steelers, all the time" from the revolving banner of the past.

One of the great things about living in (or coming from) the Pittsburgh area is the friendliness of the people in and around the city. Last year, I blogged a bit about Myron Cope and the "Terrible Towel." One thing I neglected to mention is that all proceeds on the sale of the towel go to the Allegheny Valley School that provides care for children, adults, and seniors with mental retardation and physical disabilities. If you would like to support the Steelers, and the school, please use the above link (instead of the Google AdSense ones) so that the school gets additional credit.

I believe the Steelers have been playing for the 'Bus' - a.k.a. running back Jerome Bettis. The Bus has been a Pittsburgh fixture for years, not only as a dependable player, but as an excellent example of what a celebrity should be like. To illustrate my point, Hines Ward (a teammate and Steelers Wide Receiver) was in tears last year after the AFC Championship loss because he believed the team let Jerome down in his potentially last season. This year is different. Jerome will have the opportunity to play, and in his home city, Detroit. Jerome is active in the community, and is currently raising awareness about Asthma, a disease he is afflicted with, in addition to a program called "The Bus Stops Here," benefiting children from both Pittsburgh and Detroit. Jerome's parents, Gladys and John, have every reason to proud of their son, and the values they instilled in him.

Other team members have had tremendous impact on the Pittsburgh region. I don't want to leave out any players, but Charlie Batch, a backup quarterback, is also famous for not only coming from the Pittsburgh area, but for his contributions to it. There are several other examples of how the team and its players gives back to the community.

I believe much of the reason for the positive impact of the players of the Steelers goes back to the team's ownership and philosophy. The most famous owner is Art Rooney, a.k.a. "The Chief", who bought the franchise in 1933. If any Pittsburgher's have not yet seen the play "The Chief" at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, you don't know what you missed! This play ran in 2003, 2004, and earlier this month - keep checking for it to return (possibly) next fall at the PPT website. Franco Harris (star player in the 70's) was talking about Art Rooney when he said, "He was always there to help and to give. And this feeling filtered down to the players. I think the Steelers' players give more to their community than any other team in professional sport."

I'm hoping that the Super Bowl in a few weeks does not bring on any additional heart attacks among the fans, but that you watch it with the understanding that many of the athletes on both sides of the ball are using their celebrity status and monies to better their communities. I think we can all learn from this.

To my readers in the Seattle/Redmond area - I didn't mean to leave out the players of your team, I merely am not familiar with their good works. I am, however, familiar with Victor's Celtic Coffee Company, and am currently out of the "Redmond Slough" blend as of this morning. I'd be willing to trade for some of that in exchange for posting Seattle Seahawks charity links and an equivalent amount of coffee from one of our local coffee houses (Coffee Tree Roasters)...

Go Steelers!

Silence is a virtue...

I was looking for some way of explaining my recent blog silence. As one who likes to use the words of others to explain things that are difficult to explain in my own words, I hit the quote book and encountered this gem by Sally Berger: "You never saw a fish on the wall with its mouth shut." That doesn't really fit, but I found it kinda funny and that will have to do.

In addition to the typical excuse of the holidays, I also recently changed employers. This has the side effect of changing the type of development I do. Keeping with my philosophy that I speak only for myself and not my employer, I will not divulge the name of my current employer. I will also not divulge anything that could be considered something other than generally available developer knowledge. So in reality, the only thing that could possibly change is the type of content.

Most likely I will be delving into topics such as .NET Development, the Compact Framework, and native Windows Mobile (Windows CE) development/debugging. Some of these postings may be about deployment concerns in the Windows Mobile environment. Content suggestions related to this area of development are welcome. I also plan on finishing up a few posts on MSI related subjects I started a while back after some editing and reviewing.

If you have questions regarding MSI of other installer technologies, please keep them coming - many of the privately asked (and answered) questions I have saved as blog post drafts to be completed later, and I will continue to attempt to answer them time permitting.

In the meantime, constant reader, please bear with me while I adapt to my new environment and gather together some new (and old) content.