Saturday, October 26, 2019

Football Counter-Programming 2019: Week 10

This season's Football Counter-Programming is almost up. Let's get right into it.

The industrial world is a world of convenience and specialization. But the mechanical and technical nature of the world that we live in creates a world of repetition.

In this repetitive world, how do we hold onto our motivations? How do we find that spark of inspiration to keep us doing our best every time? Is it rational to take every day and do it to the very best of your capabilities each and every time? Or should we shephard our resources--physical and mental--for when it really counts? (And--can we reliably accomplish this? And, without artificial and outside rules . . . when will we know when it really counts?) Unless you are being judged for something on an agreed-upon time schedule, you won't know when you need to do your best. So you must always be on guard as if someone is watching. 

But that can be exhausting. And so you have to find your internal motivation. Either become motivated to yourself or find outsiders or team-mates or job colleagues who can provide you with the motivation to live up to expectations.

Still . . . I know we can't always be perfect in all that we do all the time. We fall short. We make mistakes. And when we do, we can learn how to learn from those shortcomings and make adjustments and try to do better then next time. And I guess that is the most important lesson--for myself, for my children. We can't be perfect and no amount of wishing will make it so. We live in a world of shortcomings. But we cannot give up our pursuit for betterment with each performance--even though we know that sometimes we do poorly. Sometimes those mistakes are obvious to everyone. And sometimes they are known only to ourselves. The journey is valuable, even if there are peaks and valleys along the way.

(All of this made more impactful sense in my head when I thought about it. Predictably, it seems less useful now that I've put it down on the screen. It is less eloquent and more bone-crushingly obvious. But I'm keeping it here as a reminder to me and a way to process things from this week.)

So . . . stay the course. Keep trying. And remember . . . your alma mater's starting left guard has good weeks and bad weeks as well. He's just a kid still and maybe he didn't have enough breakfast this morning. Give him a break, just this once. Football doesn't matter any more than anything else.

Until next week.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Football Counter-Programming 2019: Week 9

I really don't have tons of time today. So this one is going to be very short.

Please don't watch televised football today, okay?

But if that isn't enough, then please read this for a few minutes and go do something else--as long as it isn't football.

[Click here to read.]

Remember . . . your alma mater will play again next weekend. And I'll still be trying to convince you not to watch.

The Star Wars Watch Order Free-for-all

It all started when I was trying to figure out the best way to give my kids the optimal Star Wars viewing experience.

I favored a JJ Abrams-influenced flashback method. [Click the link to read my explanation.]

But then I had to start figuring out how to accommodate the new back-end Ray/Kilo Ren trilogy. And while I was at it, I needed to work in how to best harness the emotional wallop of Rogue One. So, I came up with this alternative suggestion. (Or really, I just described the problem and left the question unanswered.) [Click that link to read that post.]

But NOW . . . it's become increasingly impossible to figure out how to do this. As IP is driven by the demands of streaming services, the regulated lock-step march of storytelling that has ruled the mechanisms of sequel making of the past forty years is breaking down. I haven't seen Star Wars Ep. IX: The Rise of Skywalker (naturally), but I am at least confident that it will fall at the end of my watch list. Chronologically is a pretty safe bet here.

Beyond that? Dunno. . .

We've also got to account for Solo: A Star Wars Story. And within a few weeks, we will also need to account for the Disney + streaming series The Mandalorian.

And I've completely decided not to incorporate the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, or Star Wars: Resistance. (I haven't watched the third animated series yet . . . if I ever will.)

So, where you put Solo is up to you. In a chronological sense, it definitely goes prior to Ep. IV a New Hope and Rogue One--I think? But I don't favor straight chronology in my preferred watch order anyway . . . so I don't have to really worry that much about whether it runs somewhere within the chronology of Eps. I-III. (And I'm sure that it does, just based on a rough understanding of aging and character back-story. But I don't want to get into a Wikipedia rabbit hole right now.) And the larger point about Solo: A Star Wars Story is that it is pretty inessential in the grander scheme of the Star Wars emotional arc. I happened to enjoy the movie a lot, but it is more of an aperitif within the Lucas-verse rather than a critical beat in the story. So . . . watch it when you want? Use it as a palette cleanser after Attack of the Clones, to scrub the desert sand that Anakin hates so much out of your brain? Watch it somewhere halfway through Empire Strikes Back to give more depth to Han's growing feelings toward Leia? Or maybe interrupt Chewie's grief over the loss of Han to go back to where their relationship began? I don't have a great idea for you.

As for The Mandalorian? I don't have any clue at all or even where to begin. Because I haven't seen it. And so I don't know where it fits in the timeline. And I don't know who the characters are. And I don't know anything. Is it about Boba Fett? Is it about his great-grandchildren? Is it about the first settler of Mandalor? Is it actually about Greedo?

So I guess TBD on that one.

But I would really like some crowdsourcing help with this. Please reply in comments who YOU prefer to watch the Star Wars movies. Do you have a preferred order? Have you never thought about this before? Now that I've brought it up, what are your thoughts on the issue?

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Football Counter-Programming 2019: Bye Week 8

(I'm tired after a long night of Harry Potter Christianity and overseeing a Youth Group lock-in. So I'm employing the bye week and taking a week off. May your alma mater do something this week.)

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Football Counter-Programming 2019: Week 7

Welcome back to another installation of 2019 Football Counter-Programming. Each week I try to distract you from college football with my own little digital oasis of something else. And this week I'm doing things a bit differently.

FIRST--I want you to close your computer, drive over the Westerville North High School after lunch today and pay a small admissions fee to come watch the Westerville Invitational marching band competition. Because what better way to distract yourself from college football than sitting in a football stadium and NOT watching football? Watch marching bands instead. Marching bands have existed to distract you from football for over a century!

There are almost 15 bands in all shapes and sizes coming to Westerville today to perform, get scores and ratings, and just enjoy themselves. I promise you that you can't find a better way to send your beautiful afternoon and evening than doing this. And all proceeds are evenly split between the Westerville South and Westerville North marching programs.

Now--on to other things.

Because I'm going to be busy all day with the competition, I don't have tons of time to come up with and write a suitably distracting post--in the off chance that a.) you aren't coming to the Westerville Invitational or b.) you are simply living too far away to come to the Westerville Invitational.

So, I've dug up something that I wrote many years ago when Sarah's artistic talent was first being celebrated. It goes way back into my digital archives and many years back in time. But do please click to enjoy!

(And remember. No one on the football field knows more about hashmarks than the band members.)

Until next week!