Thursday, January 25, 2024

Checking In . . . 2024 Style


I was mentally preparing myself to be mad that I've ignored the blog. But when I loaded up the CMS, I see that I did post in early December. It hasn't event been two full months of inactivity! Wonderful!

*pats self on back*

***

ANYWAY . . . my one fan asked me to update WWYG?! and so I will do so. (When you read it, you'll wonder why bother?)

Earlier this morning while doing my morning walk I listened to a podcast that discusses and judges series finale episodes. The show being examined was Mad Men. Was the finale a good one?

Without rewatching/refamiliarizing myself with the show as a whole (which I did watch in real time and did enjoy), I can't form much of an opinion on the finale itself. I don't remember being very polarized with at the time. I'm sure it was of a high quality and well considered--as was almost all of Mad Men itself. (It does goad me to consider making it a rewatch . . . but there are other things that I REALLY SHOULD (have to?) complete first . . .

My point is that listening to Mad Men and the discussion centering around the thesis of the show and the goals of the finale made me think about midlife crises. And it made me wonder if I have had/will have/am having one.

Am I mired in my daily schedule? Do I even want to get out of it? Do  I have malaise? And what would/could I even do otherwise? Best to avoid and not think about it! Don't try to fix what ain't broke! Recognize what you've got and don't get distracted by phantoms of what else!

Okay.

Repress.

***

Jay got some good school news last night! Their application for the half-day school curriculum at Fort Hayes was accepted. And they seemed very happy about it. I hope it will be a good academic fit for them and that it helps them explore the career field that they are right now interested in. There will be scheduling challenges to overcome for next year, but I am confident that those can be figured out. And Jay may have to make some changes by dropping a few after school performance things next year to make this work and make the schedule flow. But if it is what they want to do, then I hope it results in good things.


***

Lastly, I've had a few random thoughts about Hat of Summer as the calendar shifted to a new year. It is still many months until we begin the approach to Memorial Day weekend. But if I can get inspired, maybe I can start making the odd video here and there. Uploading them to Private of course. Don't want to make the voting period drag on for too long. But shooting, editing, and banking would be a good use of time when I've got nothing else happening. (I make it sound like it is such an ordeal. The videos--as you know--are incredibly simple. But I am--as you know--of limited skill.)

And I guess that is it for now.

Better than nothing? That is for you to decide.

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 14

 

Did you think I was done just because YOUR team got eliminated last weekend?

Well, even though the field has been winnowed and there are fewer games on the schedule during a Saturday, that doesn't mean that College Football has gone away. And wherever there is a pigskin (p)rumble going on somewhere, I'll be there . . . in spirit . . . because I can't afford to go to all of these games and the whole reason for this thread is to NOT promote . . . anyway . . . you get it.

BUT!

What/how can I distract you from the various conference championship games? How can I convince you not to watch was is (in theory at least) the BEST matchups between the BEST teams in YOUR chosen conference?

The best thing I can do, as always, is turn my attention to the marching band.

I don't know if you've heard this about me, but I'm into marching band. I like it. I have participated in it. I support it. I assist with it. My kids were/are in it. etc.

And I'm not sure you know, but this past marching band season was a historically good one for my kid's High School. The Marching Warriors did quite well at (al)most all of the competitions that we entered this year. And the "NonStop" show (based on Hamilton--ever heard of it?) was a crowd favorite and one of more technically challenging shows that the Marching Warriors have done in a long time.

And the band program is blessed with creative people who have done a great job this year and in many past years to capture the experience of the show with drones, multiple cameras, on camera recording, and kid-mounted GoPro videos that put you inside the show in very fun ways.

So, today, I am going to encourage you to wander over the the Westerville North Bands YouTube channel and peruse the Playlists. You will find several videos of the NonStop show from a crowd angle (in the stands) and if you check out the GoPro Playlist you will find many more POV recordings of the show from various band members. Those POV videos are so fun because you get to see and hear the kids in their element. But you also gain a stronger appreciation for the effort and skill that is required to be a marcher/performer/musician. If you have never been in a marching band, you might not fully comprehend the challenges. Challenges that these kids have dedicated many months of their year meeting and exceeding.

So, celebrate something other than football today.

You'll be glad you did.

Main WNHS Bands YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@WNHSBands

Playlists: https://www.youtube.com/@WNHSBands/playlists

GoPros: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfh8d2Vy4QbZKs_1QkScjgxCxdBqq44F-

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 13

How can I possibly counter-program you today?

If you live where I live, you are facing generational expectations to watch The Game between OSU and Michigan. A historic rivalry that blah, blah. (Go look it all up. I'm not here to lay it out for you.) Every week it is this team versus that team. But THIS week, it's often my team versus that most hated team.

Anyway . . . how do I fight against that?

Weakly and with little effort it would seem.

Because my idea for today is to run back something I wrote a long time ago.


I was inspired to look this movie up again and watch it Friday night. I liked it at the time and still like it to this day. 

As you may know, if you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, I've been on a Superman focused run these last several months. I'm retwatching all of the episodes of The WB/CW's "Smallville"--which was airing when Superman Returns arrived in theaters.

Tom Welling was, therefore, already in the consciousness as Clark Kent (though the premise of Smallville insisted that he was not yet Superman--with the rule "No flights; no tights." And Michael Rosenbaum was doing a great job of being YA Lex Luthor. I'm sure there was not much serious consideration of Welling and Rosenbaum moving to the big screen while they were Earth-bound in Kansas. But it would have been interesting to find a way to work them in somehow? But contracts being what they are, I'm sure it couldn't have happened.

Perhaps as a result of Superman Returns, Smallville did a strong job through it's 10 seasons of weaving older Superman movie actors into its mythos. (Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Terrance Stamp, Marc McClure, Helen Slater.) 

You can read the full review here, with this link to my old WWYG?Q Omnimedia site. I stand by everything I wrote back in 2006. I was exactly right and I still stand by the idea that Brandon Routh was a very good Superman that should have had another shot at the Man of Steel. His consolation prize as a character on "Chuck" is also dear to my heart, but I think he would have done a great job if people had been more receptive to Bryan Singer's reintroduction of the story.

So, anyway . . . go read that and do something like I'm doing today. Decorate your house for Christmas or make that leftover turkey pot pie. Just don't watch football!

Until next time!


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 12

Sitting down this Saturday morning to come up with some Football Counter-Programming.

And my first impulse was to post a production, multi-camera video of the 2023 Non-Stop WNHS Marching Band show. But I am self-conscious about it because I feel like I've mentioned this and highlighted in non-stop since August. So I'm steering away from that. (Go look at my other socials and search for the WNHS Bands YouTube page to find some very valuable videos that can counter-program anything in life that you want to steer away from at the moment.)

But now I'm self-conscious for using the word steer and I feel like I need to disclaim that you should never watch YouTube videos and drive a car or try to steer anything. I am using steer in a symbolic and general way. It's metaphorical . . . right?

Anyway, you get it.

And also--why be coy with the "you go search for the YouTube page. I'm mean how hard is it for me to just give you the link? I WANT you to go over there and watch. So . . . here it is. (You're welcome.)

. . .

. . .

ANDBUTSO . . .

Okay, now that that is out of the way.

Um . . . what to type about?

Well, let's see if I have anything in draft. Any ideas from the past that I jotted down and thought that I might come back to it later when I had more time to think about it.

So, I've got:

a. Talk about commercials. 

b. Dislike Canva

c. Like _______

Okay. I should combine a and b, because I remember that the note for Talk about commercials was specifically an opening to talk about how much I dislike the Canva commercial. Unfortunately, I can't conjur up the Like _____ prompt that was intended to balance out the Canva dislike with something positive. But this does give me a start on something to say, so here goes.

. . .

Canva.

Ever heard of it? 

Ever used it?

Well, I have some exposure to using it. (I helped create some social media posts for my church's Facebook page several years back using the Canva design platform.)

But what I want to talk about it not the efficacy of the digital tool. But rather how visceral is my dislike for the streaming commercial that I see on "TV" very often. (I use TV loosely here in the sense that these streaming services are displaying on my TV . . . but I don't quite mean TV in the historical broadcast sense. This is how home entertainment is like these days, and I'm saying it out loud for digital posterity's sake. You are all experiencing it now, so you know what I mean.)

Anyway . . . I've been exposed to this Canva ad many times while watching Hulu in recent months. (An aftereffect of my current Smallville rewatch that I may return to as a discussion point later.) But what bothers me so much about this ad is the people in it and the relationship that they have to Canva and their emotional attitude towards this design platform.


They LOVE it!

(This still image doesn't capture it. But I chose it because it features several of the actors who are in the commercial that I dislike so much. I couldn't find a video.)

The characters in the commercial are so in love with how Canva reflects their love of work. It's ability to change colors and backgrounds and fonts gives these people the amazing ability to express their vibrant, unique personalities into workplace meetings and it allows their conference room whiteboard presentations to become more of a presentation of how AMAZING they are and by extension how AMAZING their work life is!

Why do I hate it?

Because I have never experienced a workplace whiteboard presentation that has been so transformative or that has resulted in such ebullient emotions. Maybe you have . . . ? Can I work there? Not that I dislike my job. I really don't. But I'm not living and dying by it in the way that these people are in this very fictional world.

And also . . . I have worked with shared documents similar to one Canva option in my work. And I generally find them frustrating to use and hard to collaborate in. None of this is accurately depicted in the Canva commercial.

It's just false!

***

So, if you watch sports/football on a streaming service . . . first . . . don't!

But if you must for some health-related reason, then keep an eye out for this commercial. Have you seen it? Do you dislike it as I do? Just generally or in specific ways? Let me know how you feel.

But most importantly, DON'T watch college football today. Be counter-programmed! Go enjoy a mild autumn day outside before the cold weather fully sets in. Breathe some brisk air. 

Do. Something. Else!

You alma mater is hoping that you unthinkingly tune in and support its efforts. But it won't love you the way that you are loving it! Don't fall for it. Canva thinks you will fall for it. And so does Alma Mater U.

Until next week!

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 11

 

Lynda and I worked outside cleaning up the yard this morning and we also decided to take advantage of the mild weather to hang Christmas lights now. But we are not preparing to turn them on until after Thanksgiving. Just pre-prep.

We are one of those families that don't do our Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving has passed. But we also wanted to avoid being outside in colder temperatures and climbing up and down on ladders with stronger winds blowing.

We are learning and growing.

Hmm . . . what else can I tell you today to distract you from watching football?

Jay and Grace went to see The Marvels last night while Lynda and I were celebrating the end of the marching band season at a parent's party. I think a good time was had by all--even those who went to see the latest MCU movie. (Lynda and I may be able to go see it tonight while Jay is attending the student end-of-marching-season party. So we are doing our part to prop up the revenue for the MCU once again.) The reviews and pre-speculation for this movie are shaky, but I am expecting to find things that I like about it.

Speaking of things that I like, and as I mentioned above, the marching season has come to a close and Non Stop 2023 is done. It is certainly a sad time when that activity that takes up so much of our time and our effort finishes, but there are a few things that console me once again.

First, this was an excellent season! Non Stop was such a fun show and the students gave it there all each and every week. And the results show how strong the show was and also how strong their performances were. It ended up being one of the most successful competition seasons that the Marching Warriors have had in a very long time. We competed strongly in every event we entered and won most caption awards and rankings in the band's class. And the re-entry into the Bands of America competition circuit after several years away was illuminating and enjoyable. I think the band and the staff learned a lot from that exposure and think that it will be reflected in next year's show design.

And here is a final band-related thought--along with an accompanying video.

For the last several years, the band has captured a variety of Go Pro POV videos from individual band members. For 2023, there is a flute video, a trumpet/flugelhorn video, a Guard/Rifle member video, and most recently a drum major video. And it is the drum major video that I want to highlight here--and for admittedly selfish reasons. While the video itself is very interesting and it displays a fun perspective, I noticed when I previewed it that I show up at the very end. And when I do, I remembered that this run-through occurred around Halloween. And that I chose to wear my Steve Harrington "Scoop Ahoy" costume to the game that night. What I find funny is that there is very little, if any, clue to explain WHY I am wearing such an outfit. And years from now no one may know at all. So it may be very confusing to some future viewer to understand what exactly some sailor-looking guy is doing at the end of that video?!

Anyway . . . watch and enjoy.


I further encourage you to spend the rest of the day watching videos on the WNHS Marching Band YouTube channel. It will be much more enjoyable and a better use of your time than watching college football. 

(And this counter-programming is even football adjacent!)

Until next week!