Last year, the Butler Bulldogs cruised to a 21-0 lead during the regular season over the heavily favored Independence Patriots. Then in a stunning comeback, the Patriots pulled out a victory. In the rematch during the playoffs, the Patriots cruised to a victory - apparently the Bulldogs were just worn out from their earlier near miss, and had nothing left.

This year, Butler was able to pull off the upset - if it was indeed an upset, since Independence had already lost once - and they won the game they had wanted to win all year long. But when the teams met in the playoffs, would they be able to do it again? Could they take two games from the Patriots in one year? Well, no. It was mostly a rehash of last year's playoff.

I have been a user of WS_FTP for a while - years, in fact. I can't even tell you when I started using it. I'm sure that it was in the 1990s sometime. But at one point, I started getting this error - Failed to Load OpenPGP Keys From Keyrings and I just couldn't figure out what the problem was. Eventually, I noticed that the error did come up on the Ipswitch forums, but not until I had already solved it (more than once).

The problem, you see, has to do with the fact that I change computers. A lot. But it can even happen if you don't change computers - for instance, if you upgrade your computer (perhaps to Vista). What is happening is that the location of your keyring - even if you don't use one! - isn't pointing to the same place. So you need to tell the application that it's moved. It's not a difficult change to make either. Here's how.

A few months back, I profiled the Elite Stock-Market Advisory of Scott S. Fraser, and how I thought it was a remarkably bad investment. As of today, there is a single stock that has actually moved higher from that group, but I have now been chosen as the lucky recipient of another advisory, so I thought I would see if Scott is doing any better.

The first thing I noticed is there is a featured stock - but there isn't a basket. What's even more interesting is that with the exception of one of the stocks from the last group being pointed out as a winner, not a single one is even mentioned in this group. For less than a year later, that's a warning sign in my book. As to the details, let's take a deeper look and see what we can learn.

I will say that I rarely succumb to advertising. I don't generally even watch ads, usually skipping right over them with the TiVo. It just makes life so much easier. Not only do we not have to worry about what the kids are wanting, it saves a whole lot of time. Most shows on these days will be nearly one-third ads, and skipping over them entirely allows us to watch more of whatever junk happens to be on. Okay, so that's probably not the best reason to skip ads.

But even if I do watch them, I am rarely grabbed by the desire to get up and go buy whatever goes past on the commercial. It must just be part of my makeup or something, but advertising of that sort just doesn't affect me. That, and I rarely watch home shopping channels or the like. Even for gadgets and things that I like! But this ad - found on Digg, I think - really caught my attention.

Last week, one of the more unlikely referendums hit the ballot. Of course, if you're from the Charlotte area, you know that voting for anything in the form of a referendum doesn't mean much anyway, as the city may just override your vote, as they did with the arena. And yes, I know that they put forth a different plan than the one that was voted on, so from a purely technical perspective, it didn't have to go to vote again. It's the principle here. I fully understand the idea that what actually happened isn't what was voted on, and I also fully understand that is why Lynn Wheeler isn't on the council any more. People actually decided to stand up and say that they cared.

So last week, everyone had a chance to say their piece again, this time in regards to transit. The original 1998 legislation was sold to the citizens, saying that the half-cent sales tax would fund a billion-dollar project to build light rail around the city. In fact, the first leg of that undertaking has become a $462.7 billion boondoggle down South Boulevard, and opponents of the plan are trying to revoke the half-cent sales tax, mostly because as much as 70% of the tax doesn't go to pay for trains, it goes to buses. Perhaps surprisingly, it made it to the ballot.

Of course, we live in Charlotte, so it's never quite that easy.

Just about two weeks ago, I mentioned that customer service was really on the decline. Within perhaps 48 hours of that writing, I received a note from a rep who worked for Intuit, and he wanted to know if there was anything that he could to to help out.

Now those of you that read the post may take away a couple of things from this. First, the post in question wasn't specifically directed to Intuit, though it did mention one of their products. This shows the power of the world we live in. It was never mentioned, but I suspect the person - or one of their coworkers has a search feed set up so that anytime the company name or product name comes up, they are notified.

The first round of the 2007 playoffs are done and there are no big surprises - the Butler Bulldogs have won, setting up a meeting next week with their rivals the Independence Patriots, and the West Charlotte Lions continue their stellar season as well, meaning they could meet the winner of that game later, should everything play out.

Butler took on Lumberton, and handled them easily, winning 49-6 behind a great performance from the defense, who turned in a monstrous effort with six turnovers. The offense wasn't great, and in fact Lumberton had some early chances to get back in the game, but the defense stepped up to kill the threat. Leading 21-0 at halftime it was never really close, and now the Bulldogs can look ahead to their rematch with the Big I.

If your Movable Type installation uses extra fields and you want to use MT4, then at this point, you really only have one option - Custom Fields. The plugin, currently in something of a perpetual beta because Arvind is in the US for school, allows you to easily add fields to just about any object in the system. It's actually quite nice.

But if you have already been using Custom Fields, you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle when it comes to upgrading your data and you've found that the data you have been trying to keep from losing is suddenly no longer there. Luckily, the upgrade path isn't a bad one, nor is it particularly painful. You just have to be very careful when you decide to upgrade your installation.

Some time ago (has it really been four years?) I started using an online RSS aggregator to manage my addiction. It was just easier than a desktop application because then I didn't have to worry about syncing subscriptions or keeping up with what was read and what wasn't read or even installing applications. And yes, I know that there are applications that do this, but I'm sorry, I just couldn't get into them. Doing it with an online service is just so much easier.

For a long, long time I was a fan of Bloglines - mostly because it was the first, but then because it was the best. But when they were acquired by Ask it just changed. It's not that they weren't as good, it's just that it didn't change much anymore, and Google Reader was better. Sorry, but NewsGator never really did it for me. But then Google Reader didn't change for a long time.

On Monday, November 5, the Writer's Guild of America decided to strike. Because of this, the current season may be a bit bumpy. Productions that are already completed should probably be shown, but at most that will likely only be a few weeks (for those shows that come on weekly). Other shows that are in production will shut down by the middle of December.

For shows that are produced more frequently, such as soap operas, it could be disastrous.

It's time for another update on the 2007 Carolina Panthers, and I'm just not sure where to start. It's been rather ugly, hasn't it? Sure, it could have been much worse, and with the Panthers at 4-4 it's not all over yet. But back in the summer it seemed like things could have been so much better.

Jeff Davidson was hired to take the place of Dan Henning and it looked like Jake Delhomme was going to make some decent inroads with the new zone blocking scheme, installed to make DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams look better - or at least to make the offensive line not look as bad as they were. How has it worked out? Let's take a look.

One of our dogs, Ray (who you may remember from a ways back) has this problem with ear infections. Just about ever since we've had him he has had them. Infection, not ears I mean. Of course he's had ears, but they've been infected. Many dogs with floppy ears will have infections simply because they tend to get warm inside, which is a perfect place for breeding all sorts of stuff. So we spent countless hours cleaning them out with cotton balls and an enormous amount of money on solutions at the vet trying to get them clean.

We went through the regular cleaner, we performed another test to see what the stuff in his ears was resistant to and we brought home the super-antibiotic so that we could knock it out. We tried multiple types at once (multiple types that were non-resistant, of course). But the infections would remain. We have now had Ray for about four years and ever since he's had ear problems. When I think that of all the time (not to mention money) we spent on them, I can't believe it. What I am glad about is that it seems that we've finally managed to find a solution.