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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Spring 2016 SJSL Kickball Champions!!!

We’ve been playing in the SJSL since day one six years ago. We’ve have some tremendous teams over the years and made some tremendous playoff runs, but sadly had yet to come away with a championship until this kickball season.

The Spring 2016 Honey Badgers were the greatest team that I have ever had the pleasure of participating on. When I look at the individuals on our roster, I’m still baffled at how we were able to pull it off. We are a much older roster than most teams, we’re not as athletic, nor as strong, and we have several players who cannot kick past the infield.

However, we were all on the same page and had the same goal. I’ve been on great teams where the sum was greater than it’s parts, but never to the extent as this team. We all found a way to contribute, worked together, and simply clicked. It was amazing.

Our playoff run was the thing of legends.

Our first round game was against We Got the Runs, a team that we had narrowly defeated by one run with some insane 7th inning heroics earlier in the season. We were very evenly matched, and we knew it would be a battle.

The game turned out as advertised. Runs were hard fought and both defense solid. The huge swing play was with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 1st. Their captain blasted a shot to deep right field. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think Sarah had a good shot to get it. It was really well struck. Undeterred, she kept running at it, and by some miracle was able to get to it where she made one of the finest finger tip catches I’d ever seen. This would be an early 4 run swing in our favor and really built momentum for us.

There was some very big kicks by Ed and Dave throughout the night, and Sarah would later have a huge 2 out kick for us as well to knock in some hard fought runs.

With a 1 run lead, and nerves a plenty the unlikely tandem of Dustin at shortstop to Julie at 1st base sealed the deal for us. Julie could not of picked a bigger moment to make her two finest plays of the season. They were not easy plays at 1st. It was a hard fought and amazing victory.

Our quarterfinal matchup had us a fairly strong underdogs against The Slobber Bobs. They had defeated us 8-3 in our earlier meeting. They have some very strong kickers, run the bases very aggressively, and also field very well. A tough match up for sure.

Our gameplay was to play great defense and make sure that we backed one another up on defense on every play. We knew if we could somehow keep it close, that maybe we’d have a shot. The strategy going in was to kick often and early to their 1st baseman. We felt that we could have some success moving base runners doing that and hopefully frustrate them as well.

It was a 1-1 tightly contested match as expected, until we were finally able to bust through with a big inning late in the game breaking down the 1st base line. Wow, it was great.Before we knew it, we were up 11-1 in the 6th and they were getting very frustrated and we could feel the momentum on our side. We were able to close them out and advance. A perfectly played game against a very strong opponent.

In the finals we were set to square off against Suck My Kick who beat us 3-1 earlier in the season. They have some tremendous kickers on their side, but we always play them well and I could tell by our body language we were going to give them everything we had.

We screamed out of the gates putting up 8 runs in the first. They weren’t ready for that, and some in team bickering had begun. We couldn’t of asked for a better start. When their second baseman asks for me as the pitcher to move so that he can see better (sorry, but I’m going to stand where I can best benefit my team within the rules), I knew that we’d gotten into some of their heads a bit.

They are a very strong and determined team and were able to answer back with many runs of their own. However, with every run they were able to score we could answer right back padding a few here and there to our lead. We would eventually put up 19 runs which was plenty enough to put them away and win the championship.

It did feel pretty great to finally win it all, and what made it even better was they we won it playing right, with our guys, and didn’t go out and get some ringers to carry us. With the oldest core in the group, I’m not going to lie and didn’t think we’d be able to win a championship without breaking up our core group. So to win with Dustin and Kevin who’ve been with me since day 1 was amazing!

Kevin grinning ear to ear hoisted me high into the air! His excitement was so great to see! Steve and others attempted to do their best Gatorade shower with water bottles on hand. Wow, what an amazing crew.

So many players gave it their very all, played the best game they could, and did whatever the team asked of them. It as truly teamwork at it’s finest. An amazing job by a pretty amazing group of teammates!!!

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Thunderstruck

ThunderstruckThis may have been the longest it’s taken me to finish a book, at a little over 5 weeks. One week I was traveling in LA, and a good part of two other weeks I was a bit sick. Despite those holdups, I did keep my interest and finished it up.

I’m a big fan of Larson, as is the kind woman at the library who initially recommended another book of his a little while back. The non-fiction reading like fiction is a pretty great style. I enjoy learning historical facts in such a manner.

A couple other’s of his that I’ve read thus far have been:

  • Dead Wake
  • In the Garden of Beasts
  • Isaac’s Storm

I believe I still have to give The Devil in the White City a read as well.

Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

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2016 OmniUpdate User Training Conference: Workshops Day 2

Day 2 of workshops. Some wifi issues early on, were unfortunately a problem with following along.

How To Tag Content in OUCampus with Tag Manager

I really like the potential of the new Tags feature. News, events, and image galleries immediately sprung to mind.

Tags can be used to:

  • organize content
  • find related content
  • build associations

The XSL API can make the following calls:

  • GetAllTags
  • GetTags
  • GetFixedTags
  • GetCombinedTags
  • GetParents
  • GetChildren
  • GetFilesWithAnyTags

However, just a note to use the support site when 10.4 is released, features may change from this demo.

Reusable Content

This workshop covered Assets, Snippets and Includes and the differences between each. While nothing too mind blowing, this was a good overall explanation.

Types:

  • Assets (centrally managed content)
    • Web Content
    • Plain Text
    • Source Code
    • Image Gallery
    • Form
  • Snippets (pre-defined content)
  • Include Files

Guidelines to follow when deciding which to use/when:

  • DRY – don’t repeat yourself
  • think about updates
  • editing experience – snippets
  • complexity

Front-End Development Best Practices

This was a very informative and interesting workshop. He did a great job explaining the issues in page speed (latency!!), and techniques to improve page load speed. Unfortunately, I already was fairly knowledgeable in this topic, so I didn’t learn a whole lot. However, it was a great workshop still, and I did learn of some best practices and more importantly was reminded of techniques that could be employed.

Responsive Design and OUCampus

Another great workshop by Shahab, but also again an area that I was already knowledgeable in. Still great, and I’m glad I attended.

Don’t use maximum-scale in your media queries (poor for accessibility).

For the workshop we created and went over setting up a grid using Bootstrap.

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2016 OmniUpdate User Training Conference: Workshops Day 1

Yesterday was workshops day. While there was a lot to learn, I did get a bit lost at times with all the info at once. Luckily they did share all the resources, so I can go back and practice along when I get back home.

Creating New Page and Section Templates

This was a very important workshop for us, as we really want to get a better understanding of how we can create a and edit templates in OUCampus. I learned a lot, but will really have to practice a bit more what was learned while it’s still fresh in my mind.

Building Directories and Templates with MultiEdit

It was great to learn more about MultiEdit and how it may be able to work for us.

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