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.)

. . .

. . .


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.

. . .


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!

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Football Counter-Programming 2023: Week 10

One thing about blogging (even doing so sporadically) over the last 19 years is the inevitably of capturing the passage of time.

That was part of my reason for beginning this blog back in 2004. To capture the years of my early parenting and to help describe the younger years of my children. (In high school I was a scrapbooker and I began capturing bits of pieces of my life and the things that I loved at the time. This blog was something of a digital extension of that impulse.) 

That was not the sole inspiration for my blogging in the beginning, though. I also wanted to give myself a creative outlet for writing. But, unavoidably, the family element of the content grew and grew as that part of my life became so central to what I was doing every day. If you scan through the early years, and if you ignore the very obvious focus on television (still true!), most of my posts are family related. Check the tags and categories if you don't want to submit yourself to reading all of that . . . stuff from back then.

Andbutso . . . the passage of time. It's inevitable. Whether I accidentally chronicle it when writing or not. Time doesn't care what I do. And what I do has no significant impact on time. So . . . . what's up this week?

What's up is that I realized (obvious though it is) that as I age, I am mentally shifting my observance of events to a perspective that sees more things as ending rather than beginning. 

What do I mean?

Well, when you have been doing the same thing consistently for a long time--as I have--it becomes unavoidable, I suppose. 

I've had essentially the same job, at the same place, with some (but not most) of the same people for about half of my life. And my non-work life is comfortably routine as well. My family is stable. And despite the fact that they keep getting older and they don't all live at home anymore, the kids and Lynda are all still here. And almost all of my extended family remains in touch, since I've moved away from childhood and college. So, this back half of my life (so far) has been . . . predictable and stable.

You should be so lucky!

It is, however, as I say, inevitable that as time goes on, the number of unique experiences decreases and the number of repeat experiences increases. And that being the case . . . I sometimes find myself ticking off (in a vague way) the times that I have already done something and a slow awareness that those somethings have a finite number. Am I on the downward slope of those things? I am not given to know the day or the hour . . . so I cannot with certainly answer that thought. But the vague mental math checks out.

What's to be done or further said about this? Probably nothing and nobody asked me to say it anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter. But I felt it, so I sat down to express it.

In a glass-half-full sort of attitude, I can take this awareness and push myself into new things. Sure, the kids are growing and spreading out. But that opens up new space in my life to fill. Maybe I should accept this reality and fill that space with a new thing that gives me a new set of First Times to experience. What that might be . . . ? . . . is something to contemplate.

But . . . spending my Saturday watching football certainly isn't the best way to answer that question.