Friday, September 28, 2007

We have liftoff

The Secret Cardinal is now in stores! Links to bookstores are conveniently provided at the book's website linked above.

Edit: Tomgrace.net is now online as well.

A video interview is on metacafe, which means it's embeddable here:

Chinese Government Versus The Vatican

The video trailer for the book, consisting of a professionally shot scene from the book designed to introduce and intrigue, is through production and in the final stages of editing. I will certainly post it here as soon as possible.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Redemption before bed

I just discovered that the piping under the sink has split and leaks onto the cabinets beneath it. I found this out when I poured a crock pot half filled with water and a mug of sour yogurt down the drain. It took 20 minutes to clean up (repeatedly soaking a rag, wringing it out, and scrubbing out the spoiled milk gristle and food crumbs) and I gagged twice. In order to compensate for this unpleasantness I wanted to post a video from Saturday. This is when Michigan got the ball back and took a knee to beat Penn State for the ninth straight time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

JOB

They offered me the job an hour after round 2 of the interview yesterday. I accepted this morning and shortly afterward I was in Best Buy with my boss's assistant where they bought me a new laptop. I now have to prove myself, but this is an incredible opportunity and I have great tools to help. It's still kinda surreal how well this has worked out.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dale Newman, again

Dale Newman's misdeeds are spreading throughout the internets.
  • The cynically resourceful Ann Arbor is Overrated caught Sarah's story about the Dale Newman properties and mentioned it in a post.
  • There is an ArborWiki page dedicated to non-libelous Dale Newman facts. It links back to one of this blog's earlier posts about Dale Newman.
  • Prolific A2 blogger Edward Vielmetti has even kept abreast of these happenings via a dale-newman tag on his del.icio.us page. (Also links back here)
  • An inn owned by Dale Newman burned to the groud not long after Dale visited the site after a security alert.
I'm hoping increased awareness will prevent anyone from doing business with him again. It sounds like his latest actions with his energy fraudulence may take care of that for us though.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Job interview

I had a job interview today. It's at the company of a businessman who owns several properties and venues and leases lots of office space. The office itself is in the gutted and remodeled Steelcase factory, which means it's an old and beautifully refinished building

These clients desperately need their websites brought up to date and this businessman is hoping to kill two birds with one stone by finding someone who can do that and fix their IT problems. The position is a hybrid tech support/web development position, and they want to find someone eager and looking to be in a position to learn and grow and develop their skills.

Enter: me.

So the interview went very well. Round 2 is next week, and I'm the only person who's made it there so far.

Fingers are crossed to say the least.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Secret Cardinal Website Online

The website is online, and looking great! Less than two weeks until it drops in stores.

http://www.secretcardinalbook.com/

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I saw this coming

Michigan football is pretty lousy this year. I've been on record wondering if the defensive successes last year were due to the philosophy of the defensive coordinator Ron English or just the talent of the players, and if the weaknesses exposed by the last two games of the season could be corrected. The answers: Personnel, and a resounding NO.

These are my quotes from an e-mail with Matt on January 8th, regarding USC coach Pete Carroll possibly taking an NFL job.

It's ok. With Branch, Hall, Woodley, and Harris gone, we won't be in any position to play USC anytime soon. We should be worried about the SEC #3, or whoever we'll face in the next couple Citrus Bowls.

I refuse to be less cynical than that until we beat OSU.
...
The formula [for beating Michigan] was written by minnesota, tweaked by OSU, and perfected by USC. unfortunately, we only seem to face two teams a year that can do what they did.
...
This doesn't mean I'll cheer any less or get any less excited, but I don't think the problem lies in our personnel.

I was dismissed as being too cynical; now it seems I was overestimating the team completely. Also, to Danielle on January 5th:
Mike Hart and Lamarr Woodley have helped to mask the fact that we're still playing football like it's 1978. Boise State and USC have helped expose that.

Sigh. Nothing groundbreaking, but I hate that I was so right. I ended with this:

Still, I'd rather go 9-4 if it means we beat OSU and win the bowl game.

That sentiment absolutely stands, though I will be ecstatic if Michigan escapes this season 9-4.

Secret Cardinal Updates 9/9

The International Thriller Writers website has an interview online.

The Ave Maria School of Law's weekly radio show has an interview available for download. Tom appears about halfway in.

The Secret Cardinal's official web page is online. It's just a placeholder for now until the final design is up.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Zeitgeist

My iTunes library reset itself in March 2005, and then again last fall (9/5/2006) with the new computer. In March 2006 I compiled the statistics to see what I had been listening to over the previous year. It turned out to be 8300 songs, or 23 per day every day. Top selections (skewed by a rap-heavy video gaming playlist):


I figured over this past year, the numbers would drop considerably since I worked most of the day. Surprisingly, they actually increased: 8556 songs. Only a 2% increase, but still an increase. And the artists:

Scissor Sisters tops the list again and in #3 as well. Their margin of victory is much greater this year too. Interesting.

There's a much broader distribution of music -- I haven't concentrated on the same few songs as much. Also, I listen to Richard Cheese way, way too much.

Winamp on our old old computer kept track of shareware usage statistics. I had played more than 14,000 songs when we built the new one, which is 4600 a year from May '98 May '01. Let's assume an increase of 1,000 listens per year -- so up to 5,600 from '01-'02, 6,600 from '02-'03, 7600 from '03-'04, 8000 from '04-'05, which keeps pace with the current numbers. Adding those up gives these estimates:

-I have listened to 60,000 songs on my computer alone in the last nine years.
-That's four months straight of music playing from the computer speakers.
-Pick any date and time since May 1998, and there's a 4% chance I was listening to music on the computer.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Secret Cardinal Updates

The Perseus Books website has a video interview with Tom Grace online. It does a great job superimposing relevant images on the screen to ground the discussion in the reality on which the book is based.

The Secret Cardinal was also named an Editor's Choice for the U.S. Catholic magazine's fall book reviews, an honor it shares with the latest Harry Potter book.