Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Party Month 2019: It Begins

It's the end of June, so its time for the annual tradition of Party Month. For those of you who don't know Party Month represents a sequence of:

Grace's birthday (July 26)
Lynda's birthday (July 1)
Wedding anniversary (July 8)
Sarah's birthday (July 22)


Grace is turning sixteen this year and he's halfway through her high school years. As always, she is taking it all in with determination and a strong work ethic. She's reading through her summer reading books and working her band preparations into the weekly schedule. (And the turmoil of shifting to a new band director out of the blue when the school year ended has made summer band even more dramatic.)

I encourage you to search back through the WWYG?! archives to see what I've written about Grace in the past. It's all complementary and I'm in awe of the person she is always growing to become.

Here is an example of something I wrote a few years back that is still 100 percent true.

And besides all of that, she's just fun to hang out with.

So, if you see Grace out there in the world, take some time to say hello and enjoy her company. Your day will definitely be improved because of the experience.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Sliding Doors for #HatofSummer

As I mentioned in a previous video, the timing for the reveal of the 2019 #HatofSummer overlapped with our planned family summer vacation. And I really didn't want to add my laptop to the list of items that needed to be packed in the car. Some said items being:

  • luggage
  • two beach umbrellas
  • cooler of car snacks and drinks
  • cooler of kitchen supplies and some foods
  • pillows (!)
  • collapsible beach wagon
  • etc.
So, there was plenty enough to already be worried about.

And I was reasonably confident in the top two contenders. I'd been watching the votes come in each week and the Skyline bucket hat and the Columbus Zoo cap were the steady contenders for the top spot. I was a bit worried initially that the Zoo cap would get a surge of last-minute voting and sneak into the lead. But during the last two weeks, the voting slowed to a trickle and I made an executive decision.

I took a risk and decided to put my "money" only on the Skyline hat. That was the only hat that I packed, with the strong assumption that it would emerge the winner. BUT . . . I also hedged my bets just a bit. I recorded two videos. The first was revealing the Skyline hat as the winner. That is the official video that was scheduled to post on Memorial Day Monday and is the live video. But just in case, I filmed a second video that assumed the Columbus Zoo cap as the winner. I structured it the same as the Skyline video and I made sure that if the need arose, I could, from my iPhone, remotely halt the scheduled go-live of the Skyline video and instead push the Zoo video.

As it turned out, that swap was unnecessary. (And if I had needed to do that, I would also have needed to post a follow-up video of me--hatless at the beach--that apologized for not having the Zoo hat with me and ready to display.) Truth be told, Sarah was excited about the possibility of this need and sort of wanted it to happen--to throw my plans into a cocked hat as it were.

Andbutso . . . for posterity sake I'll provide a link to the unofficial video that is not available for public viewing and isn't public on the WWYV?! channel.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

#OfficialHat2019 revealed

It's been a good year of #HatofSummer efforts and video making. And I'm happy that we had another good year of voting from old fans and some new faces as well.

But I am sad (spoiler coming) that the Ireland hat just couldn't put together a good enough run of play this year to come out on top. I'm beginning to think that I'll be entering this hat into competition for many years in the future only to see if disappoint each and every time. But then again, I should not be influencing future voters with my own perspective.

The 2019 effort was notable for a few things: my addition of custom-made and swappable intro and outro segments for many of the hat videos. (And that I bit the bullet and decided to use copyrighted music when making those items as well.) It added some more personality to the videos themselves and, happily, did not result in any red flags or strikes on my account by the rights holders. I hope that my little project gave the artists a small bit of revenue.

And if you have thoughts or suggestions about how I could improve upon this direction for next year's campaign, please leave me a comment.

I also liked the additional use of the #HatofSummer teaser photo (see above) that was included in the reminder videos each week and featured as iconography--of sorts--in these blog posts. I'll think about how to do similar things next year.

Finally, I hope that next year's effort will ultimately feature some custom #HatofSummer artwork from Sarah--when she has time to create it. She's expressed interest and I've love to have it some day.

But--now--on to the winner of this year's campaign!

#OfficialHat2019 Week 5 Update

(I'll admit that I am writing these last few #HatofSummer posts after the fact. Things hit on vacation quickly as I was ending the weekly videos and then wild things happened at work that distracted me pretty well for several days.)

The final hat of summer choice for 2019 circles back again to the beginning. It's the Skyline Chili bucket hat, a dark horse favorite of my own because of its differentness.

I've tried to take to hear the criticism of the last few years that my hats are all too much the same. Just another variation on a baseball cap. (But I'm not taking it enough to heart to truly consider entering a fez into the competition or a wildly costume-like novelty hat.) And yet it is true that all hats prior to 2018's trilby winner were just baseball caps with different logos, or maybe a wool version of the same.

And as I'm getting older, perhaps I can pull off more "sophisticated" hat styles. An almost fifty-year-old man doesn't need to necessarily dress like a college-aged frat boy.

How does any of this synchronize with option #5--the bucket hat?

Well, clearly it doesn't. At least not for this year. But I'm thinking about what comes next.