The NFL free agent/legal tampering/most.important.sports.event.in.early.May is well underway.  What's important?

- The Dolphins get Ndamukong Suh, giving them a pretty nasty defensive line.  This will give them great comfort when the Patriots treat them to a warm reception in Foxboro, and even more comfort when Tom Brady takes his one sack and burns them repeatedly.  Welcome to the Patriots world.  Oh, wait, they know that world.  It won't change for them.

- The Buffalo Bills got a new coach (Rex Ryan didn't come as a free agent, granted) and he got some new toys.  Percy Harvin at WR, but the real news was trades.  Matt Cassel, LeSean McCoy, Richie Incognito.  Good moves.  Rex Ryan knows all about losing to the Patriots.  It will be more competitive in Buffalo but not competitive enough.

- And the Jets got a new coach, Tood Bowles, a defensive wiz. He's got Darrell Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Marcus Gilchrist.  Good defensive tools.  Oh, and a quarterback competition, Ryan Fitzpatrick traded from Houston, where they tried to burn him out. But ownership will fail him, and the Patriots will not.

 

So, the Patriots lost Shane Vereen, RB, a really versatile player.  Revis, Browner, top cornerbacks in a passing league.  Belichick will retool, plan around lesser talents, and probably trade for an unrealized talent. As usual.  I'm not too concerned.  He will do what needs to be done, and the Pats have some cap money to throw around.  Devin McCourty was retained.  Critrical. He's young, home-grown, quietly swaggering, and worth the money.  

Which leads to their lack of action in the free agent market.  Not.

Chimdi Chekwa is a typical BB signing, an underperformer in Oakland.  He could really shine in a well run program, wher he knows the effort is rewarded with legitimate aspirations to Super Bowl victory.  It can't be easy to get self-motiviated as a Raider.

Brandon Gibson from Miami.  The Patriots LOVE to steal productive players from division rivals, as their rivals love to do to them.

Kevin Dorsey from Green Bay, a competent receiver. 

Jonathan Freeny also from Miami, is a special teams contributor, fulfilling one of BB's key requirements, multiple roles.

Jabaal Sheard has shown signs of being a pass rusher.  With coaching and scheming, he may be more productive than previously.

Yes, I'm ever hopeful. The Patriots always look for value, and restocking at defense will be tough.  Repeating at the Super Bowl is the goal, but so is building a contender for 2016.

 

Overall I am pleased.  Good choices. 

Along with politics, policy, Christ, and computers, I love talking and writing about sports.  So I'll start writing about them here, of course...

 

So far this has been a fantastic year, starting with the Patriots winning Super Bowl XVIX.  So a few thoughts on this:

- Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL.  He just is.  There are faster, more mobile, stronger, longer-throwing, taller quarterbacks, but none better.  Peyton suffered from an injury and so did Rodgers, Wilson only needs a few more years, and Flacco just needs a little more team.  But Brady is now the top of the heap.  

- The Patriots out-played and out-coached the Seahawks in the last minute.  Butler both played heads-up ball taking Lockette out of bounds on that impossible catch, saving a touchdown, but he followed his coaching, saw the play, and went for the ball.  Browner drove his man off-rout, making that interception possible, and Wilson didn't quite put the ball where it would be safe.  An entire season comes down to 3 seconds of a pass play.  

Belichick out-coached Carroll.  He showed a run defense, and the Seahawks blinked.  

But enough of that.  Just a fabulous season for the Patriots.  If they can keep key free agents, there is good reason to hope they can repeat.

Being both cheap and cynical, I'm not ready to go beyond a pedometer and try a 'fitness tracker'. I've tried Google Fit.  It doesn't work with the M8.  Something about how the sensor hardware is made. See how cynical works for you?

So I looked around, and loaded up SenseMe.  And it seems to be collecting data.  OK...

In pretty sure it's not accurate, yet, but will see.

Anyone else tried this, or some other app for the Mí?

In 1996, CyberNexus started as a tiny ISP in Biddeford, Maine.  Darren Ellis created CyberNexus in a closet off his living room, running a Linux PPP server and a 56k line to a provider, Great Works Internet, a bank of modems (ok, a bunch of modems piled on top of each other) offered connection speeds up to 28.8k... blazing!  Actually it was as good as anything else at the time, and as reliable as Great Works Internet, which has gone on to be a premier supplier of network services in Maine.  Darren ran a tight ship, but there was competition, and he saw the writing on the wall.

The Next Step...

My employer at the time was looking for opportunity, and saw the Internet as a service to offer customers.  He hired Darren, and we put up a POP with a T-1, 56K lines for some dedicated customers, and even some ISDN.  I was expected to support Darren's efforts, and be his backup.  CyberNexus relocated to this site, and Darren's dialup business ceased.  I had moved out of Biddeford anyways, and didn't need it to hang on AOL, Usenet, and IRC (back in the days before LiCe and all the nastiness that is now IRC).

But there was more..

I had bought a book called The Internet CD, by Vivian Neou.  Interesting, the CD had several cool utilities that were still hard to download over a modem connection, but it had something really fascinating - a copy of Slackware Linux, I think 0.9.  And it actually worked! 

This was a revelation to me.  I had tried a copy of Minix, which was pretty miserable, and I had run up a NFR copy of SCO Unix 4.2, which was daunting and pretty much unusable without an expert on hand.  Linux w-o-r-k-e-d!  I was hooked.

Change Comes Again...

Eventually, CyberNexus was caught up in the demise of our ISP business, and my employer turned this into a web hosting business.  That wasn't worth the trouble, and CyberNexus was of no interest to him, and he 'gave' it to me.  For a long time, it just did e-mail, and was my practice pad for Linux.

I practiced.  I screwed things up.  Cyber got hacked a few times from 1999 on.  No, it got pwned. We survived it.

The 'we' was myself and Curtis Maurand, of MaineLine Systems.  Curtis took over for Darren, and did other things.  He's a Linux wiz, mySQL/Perl/PHP/Apache mechanic, a wizard making stuff work, and a good guy.  He's still located in Sack, Maine, poor guy...  Just kidding mostly, Saco is a wonderful place to live.

But this changed a little when i moved to Arizona in 2005. Being that far away made me less useful than ever. And Curtis has been keeping some sites up at Xyonet, among them this one.  I'm responsible for my site, which includes forgetting some little thing that's critical.  Curtis is patient with me.

So here we are.  I'm building it bit by bit.  Stay tuned.  This will be fun!

In His name!