Spring 2017 Kickball Season

I think this was my seventh year of playing SJSL kickball (I could be off a year). I’ve definitely have seen much change over the years to the league and to my Honey Badger roster. But the one constant is that I always have some amazing teammates and we always play tough yet not too serious.

This season we had some new faces, and didn’t see some longtime Badgers return. Gone this season was legendary Honey Badger Kevin. I think our longtime spark plug has retired after a long and illustrious career. Truly a one of a kind character.

This season we surely had our struggles and had a hard time fielding a consistent squad out there week in and week out. It really has become quite the challenge to field a full roster every week. We had some fun moments and some terrible performances.

However, we truly did save our best for last. In the playoffs we played our finest kickball of the season.

Our opening kickball game was an instant Honey Badger classic. We faced off against the offensive juggernaut, the Slobber Bobs. Due to our seeding I was able to choose which field our game would be played on. Given the extremely strong wind blowing in from the shore and their strong legs, without hesitation I chose for us to play into the wind. With the intent of limiting the long ball and turning it into a defensive struggle.

Our team was great holding the Slobber Bobs to a 5-1 victory. Our squad was great. We played such a solid defensive game, and did such a great job of keeping our kicks low and not into the wind. Our opponents on the other hand struggling with the wind, and we were able to shut them down and frustrate them. It was great, and an amazing team effort!

We then advanced to the finals where we faced off against the Almost Athletes. Unfortunately for us they chose to play the final on the other field and it was a wise choice on their part. Their kickers got off to an amazing start with their perfectly placed kicks.

We were down by a huge margin early on, but we never threw in the towel. We battled back and actually made it a game again. But alas, they had another big late inning and were just too much offensively for us to prevail. They soundly defeated us.

Even though we didn’t win the championship, we had such a strong conclusion to our season. Our players did such a fine job when it mattered most, and gave it their absolute all. It was really great. So proud of these Badgers, and am amazed Dustin and I have survived so many SJSL seasons.

 

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OUTC 17 Day 1 and 2

mpus is the CMS solution that we use at work, so it’s always exciting to go and learn as much about it as possible. This year I was also presenting, so that made things a bit more exciting as well.

The flight in wasn’t too bad. Typically in the past I wind up feeling pretty sick after such a long flight, but this time around wasn’t so bad. I did eventually get a bad headache later that first night, but nothing nearly as bad as how I had felt in the past. So that was a plus.

The conference took place at the Paradise Point Resort and Spa in San Diego. It’s a very pretty and unique location. It’s on an island in Mission Bay, and all the rooms seem to be little bungalows scattered throughout the island. Not the traditional 20 story hotel. It’s pretty nice. Palm trees, beaches, pools and little ponds all over the place. Very scenic and fun to just walk around and take it all in.

The opening keynotes were pretty interesting. Not as interesting to me as last year, as we’re not brand new to OU Campus any longer, but still well done. The sessions on days one and two weren’t as interesting as last year for the same reasons, but meeting everyone and discussing similar issues and solutions is always very helpful, and I’ve been enjoying doing that.

I do seem to be having some sort of allergy out here. I awoke Monday morning with my right eye nearly completely shut. I suspect it’s a reaction to some plant/pollen out here, but who knows. There’s many new variables in play for me out here. I was a bit bummed that I have had to wear my glasses more than I’d like, especially when I was presenting. But oh well, it’s better than my eye getting irritated further.

My presentation took place on the first day at 3:15 pm. It was titled, Surviving the Migration from Homegrown CMS to OU Campus. I went over how we had gone through our migration. The audience was primarily individuals who had not migrated yet, so it was the ideal audience. I don’t present too often, and this was the first time I had to wear a mic when presenting, but I must admit I wasn’t nervous at all.

Per a random request I played elevator music that I had found on YouTubTube leading up to the presentation. It think the silliness calmed what little nerves I may have had going in. The presentation went fairly well and lasted the full 45 minutes. I didn’t notice anyone who left the presentation early, and there were many questions at the end that were a pleasure to answer.

At the end I had several people come up to me afterwards and thank me for speaking in a language that they understood. They are going through a very similar situation and sharing our success and regrets was very beneficial to them. It felts nice to be of help.

Later that night we had a steamboat dinner cruised through Mission Bay. They bused us from our hotel to the steamboat where we got on and for a few hours calmly went around the bay. It was pretty nice and definitely a unique thing for me. The food was solid and the company entertaining. A fun little trip.

Checking out a some more sessions on Tuesday and looking forward to the workshops and hackathon to come later in the conference.

 

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XSLT

Since we’ve adopted OU Campus at work as our CMS platform I’ve been learning a lot about XML and XSLT. XSLT wasn’t a language that I was interested in previous to adopting OU Campus, so I haven’t picked it up as fast as I’d of initially liked. But, it’s finally making sense to me.

So, I think I’ll come out of hibernation and try to post some of my upcoming XSLT adventures as I begin to learn more about it.

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Christmas 2016

Christmas was fairly quiet again this year. Nothing too fancy, just went over to my parents. There seemed to be less drama this year than in years past, so that is always a good thing.

Exchanged some gifts and had some dinner. Everyone seems to enjoy what I had gotten them, so that’s always a good thing. I did receive a Google Home and a He-Man and She-Ra book. It will be fun to play around with the Google Home, and the book is really well done so that will be funny to go through.

An added bonus to the day was that there were football games on this year. This gave us something common to watch on TV.

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Fall 2016 Dodgeball

Another year of dodgeball. This season’s team contained most of the usual good folk. We continue to get older than the competition who seems to be getting younger each season, but our teamwork and experience gives us a shot most weeks.

What impressed me most this season was our guys play. We are not a very strong, athletic, active, roster when compared to the rest of the league. However, with some savvy and smarts we’re able to hang with most of the other teams out there. It really was amazing this season how well we all did. Dustin, Steve, Dave, Dan, Jacob, Jerry and myself really overachieved this season it was great.

More importantly I just realized 3 of our guys names start with a D, and 3 start with a J. Amazing fact and perhaps future Honey Badgers trivia right there.

The guys were great, but I sadly have noticed a decrease in velocity and endurance in my game. Alas, I am getting so old! I was still a major contributor to the cause most nights, but have been doing it in other creative ways than I was contributing a few seasons ago.

Our girls were great. Sadly, we had a hard time getting them all together in a given night, but when we had a full roster they very dominant. Sarah and Erin were probably the best two teammates in the league. Both are tremendous athletes and competitors. Jen continues to amaze me with how much she can bring to a team. On paper, she’s not nearly as dangerous as Sarah or Erin, but during a game she always brings value to the team. Such an amazing teammate! Caitlin, Maggie and Meghan brought their veteran smarts to the team as well, and we really had a lot of fun.

The team won our first playoff game against our rival Dodgetrotters. Always a fun and close match with those guys. The second round had us face off against the Avengers. Despite their enormous talent advantage we did start off with a shocking 3-3 start! It was pretty great and we sure made them work for it. Sadly we did lose to them, but wow we all felt great with our effort!

Another amazing season for the Honey Badgers. Though I can see and feel a sharp decline in ability in recent seasons, it’s still amazingly fun to go out there with such good friends once a week.

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Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving wasn’t too major of a production this year. Sadly I believe most of the key family connections are no longer alive. So, it meant it was only my parents and my younger brother this year. Oh, and Buddy (the dog with one blue eye).

I try to make something for Thanksgiving, and this year I made some mac and cheese and cornbread at my house and brought it over to my parents. No cooking disasters for me, everything seemed to turn out ok. So that was a good thing.

Less people as well as older and less energetic equals a lot less holiday drama. I don’t believe there was a single incident, door slammed, yelling, etc. Wow, that’s really an amazing feat now that I think about it. Certainly a first.

I walked Buddy a few times, it’s her favorite this to do and I enjoy it quite a bit as well. We’ve become quite the walking tandem.

Between watching football games we did Skype with my brother Anthony and his crew. Ryan is turning into a little person and we’re pretty sure he said “hello” to my mom while Skype-ing with us. Ant and I exchanged stupid things we did as kid stories and he soundly defeated me. I believe he has an hour and a half of stories to my 30 seconds.

The next day I did get some Black Friday shopping in. Treated myself to a fine Best Buy PS4 deal. Haven’t really played any games recently, and there’s several years of fine titles for me to give a shot now that it’s getting a bit colder out.

Though a bit sad at how diminished the holiday gatherings have become, it wasn’t too bad this year. Nice to see everyone getting along and enjoying themselves.

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