baseball: keeping score (K-ForCE Lite)

Baseball is back!

I guess it’s been back for over a week, but I took a short trip and missed opening week. I did return, though, just in time for the Dodgers Home Opener and the Dodgers first two home wins.

There was a time in my life when I kept score of a massive amount of games (massive = 162 in the 1997 season). I have all of the scorecards stored away. I’ve tried in the past couple of years on occasion to keep score, but it has seemed more of a hindrance than the fun it used to be.

I got talking with some folks about an app for scorekeeping, and sure enough it’s already been invented. ImageI read a couple of reviews and decided upon K-ForCE Lite for the iPhone. I figured if it was exceptional I could buy the full version, and if it was awful I could dump it.

Pros:

  • You can import all of the major league rosters (although I figured this out after the game).
  • You can keep a pitch count in each at bat.
  • You can actually chart the hits (if you want to).
  • Player substitution was pretty easy once I got the hang of it (of course, I chose to do it in a game where the Pittsburgh Pirates did a triple substitution in one inning and ended up with five pitchers in the game. So, it was definitely tested out.)
  • Before you close out the game, it asks you to clear up any discrepancies.
  • You get awesome options to export the scoresheet or boxscore into html format of a pdf. (I’m super excited about the pdf.)

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Cons:

  • It’s a battery-drainer. That’s probably not a big deal at home, but at the stadium, it was a little rough. Will it stop me from doing it? Probably not. I’ll just make sure I have a full charge before I leave.
  • It’s a little difficult to change plays. (I guessed an error that was ruled a hit, and had a hard time figuring out how to change it.) I was able to change within the same inning, but I’m not sure how that works out if scoring changes are made later in the game.

All in all, this is awesome for a free app and baseball fan.

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My Life in a Twitter Shell

So, I was curious as to what one would learn about me or figure out about me by looking at one day’s worth of tweets from my Twitter account. I know this is redundant because it’s also streamed on the side of the blog, but it’s more for me than anything anyways.

Truthfully, it made me laugh to do this because it’s completely me in a nutshell. It involves sports, politics, souls, shamans, my brother, and a photograph. More specifically, you could probably tell I love the Dodgers and the Lakers, Matt Kemp, that I believe in health care, the importance of running away and that I spent some time today looking for a book and Laker merchandise. You can tell that I’ll probably be teaching and that I use my blackberry too much.

I’d say it’s me in a nutshell….

(I’ve replace my brother’s screenname with “mybrother” and my friend’s with “myfriend” simply because I didn’t know how’d they’d feel about being featured in my blog. Especially my brother…who I apparently feel the need to have entire conversations with via Twitter.)

1. @mybrother she didn’t like that idea either
2. for some reason, my mom wasn’t too thrilled about my idea to see a shaman….hmmm….
3. Whoa…suddenly feel like I’ve awakened from the dead. Wowwww
4. RT @dodgerthoughts: Matt Kemp achieves lofty bobblehead status: Mark your calendars, collectiblers. August 19 is the date of the Mat.. h …
5. @myfriend they should have one of a person twittering on their BB about to die ūüėČ
6. Suddenly appreciating that the summer school program I’ll be teaching in has DEAR time.
7. Awesome. Just awesome. http://mypict.me/3Xdx
8. Always travel in a crooked line because evil travels in straight lines.
9. Laker championship memorabilia has certainly inflated since the last time they won. Geesh.
10. RT @LATimessports: Manny Ramirez falls to sixth place in All-Star voting: The tally makes it unlikely that the Dodgers http://bit.ly/f1gKc
11. @VIPTICKETS was it Tom Goodwin?
12. cayenne pepper + zinc = a huge disaster
13. @mybrother trying to get a camping trip organized
14. RT @nytimeskristof: Obama speech to AMA excellent. Pleads with doctors to get on board, not let health crisis linger another 50 yrs.
15. @mybrother do you guys have more time off this summer?
16. @mybrother yea no worries. I would never deprive you of the meaning of life if I found it. Hahahaaaaaa.
17. @mybrother I’m headed to the library later, but if I can’t find it I’ll probably get it on Amazon and pass it along to you
18. @mybrother be safe & Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
19. @mybrother are you headed back?
20. @mybrother well and he understands the importance of running away….plus like the “big picture”

Animoto.com

One thing that I really love about the substituting job that I currently hold is that I literally feel as though I learn something new every time I spend a few hours there.

One of the things that I learned a couple of weeks ago was the existence of animoto.com. It’s a very simple way to create slideshows with music. The best part of all is that it’s a “smart” site that creates the picture transitions based upon the music you choose. I have only used the free version thus far, which allows you to create a 30-second video.

Here is my rendition of our Spring Training trip to the music of the Eagles (“Fast Company”).

[clearspring_widget title=”Animoto.com” wid=”46928cc51133af17″ pid=”4a156cd425b49b5b” width=”432″ height=”240″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

Flock

I originally downloaded Flock a few months ago. I put it on my laptop and synced it to all of the 643 accounts we have. I thought it would be the perfect way to keep up with everything. That didn’t last long.

A couple of days ago, I “rediscovered” Flock on another website. This time I put it on my desktop, which has a lot more RAM and a lot more power. As I sat through the tutorial, I knew it was going to be pretty much amazing.

“It’s like Firefox on crack,” is how I described it the other day.

It’s so true. I love that Firefox saves your tabs and reboots the next day with all of the websites you had open when you quit. Flock does exactly the same thing. So, for the browser component it did exactly what I was missing in Safari.

The highlights for me are:

  • The “feeds” window on the left. It opens right in the browser with all the RSS feeds that you’ve subscribed to. What’s even better is that there is an icon at the top of the browser that lights up any time the page you’re visiting has an RSS feed. It’s that simple. One click and the feed is instantly added to your toolbar.
  • The other lefthand window is for the social networking sites: Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Youtube. As long as you are signed in, the icon will light up any time there are changes in any of those accounts. I currently use the Facebook and Twitter components, and I appreciate not having to have the sites open constantly.
  • The browser also syncs with email accounts and has a similar icon when you have new mail. It’s fairly intuitive and definitely helps you out any time something happens for the first time.
  • There is also a media bar along the top that brings in Flickr and other photo site feeds. Once you have subscribed to a particular Flickr feed it will again light up and give you the opportunity to open a narrow bar along the top which holds thumbnails of all of the newest pictures in the subscribed stream.
  • It is also fully compatible with blogging sites and allows you to blog elements from sites instantly. It is completely functional with my WordPress account.

I have become somewhat of an internet addict (moreso than usual) with all of my free time lately. I think the one thing I’ve always lacked is a single program or website that would integrate everything I use into one simple place. Flock certainly comes close. With the ability to install toolbars designed for Firefox, I was able to add the “Digg” toolbar which makes sharing easy. It also supported “ShareThis”, which I am still figuring out!

I love that this is so streamlined and, honestly, that it is basically Firefox but so much better. My one warning is that this is only absolutely necessary if you spend a ton of time on your computer. Otherwise, I would thing the updates would be somewhat overwhelming.

My blog in the main window, my RSS feeds in the lefthand toolbar, and the Whitehouse Flickr feed along the top.

My blog in the main window, my RSS feeds in the lefthand toolbar, and the Whitehouse Flickr feed along the top.

Viigo

Every time I fear that technology is slipping from my grasp, something new and even more ingenious arrives! I read about the beat version of Viigo in Fast Company and knew that I just had to try it.

It’s designed for the Blackberry and the very basic description is that it allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds on your phone and keep them all in one tidy little place. I was positively overjoyed because heaven knows I don’t read enough news.

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So, now I have the feed from this blog, 643Ink’s blog, Tanaya’s blog,¬†CNN, the Dodgers, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the White House blogs all going straight to my phone. The beauty of it all is that I was able to delete about six different applications. It also gets weather updates and traffic. I have modified it to remove entertainment and such, but I’m sure its abilities are somewhat limitless.

For a news junkie like me, this is absolutely perfect!

TweetDeck

I have been somewhat apathetic to Twitter up until this week. I use it mostly when I’m bored. Most of the “people” I follow are news organizations. I just thought it was a quick way to get the news I was interested in from a variety of different sources in one easy place.

My updates were….umm….strange to say the least. Song lyrics. Random quotes. I tried for one weekend (in Phoenix) to update what I was doing while at Dodger Spring training and realized that Bill Plaschke was there too, which was kind of cool! Other than that, my participation has been sporadic.

We even created a twitter account for 643Ink, and updates there have been sporadic as well. When we set our minds to keeping it up, it goes well. Otherwise, it’s somewhat of a battle. A losing battle, at that.

All of these being said, I realized a few days ago what exactly my problem with Twitter is, or at least online Twitter. One, I never remember where I left off so I’m always missing updates. Two, I forget to go back far enough and I don’t often realize that people have sent me messages. Three, it really isn’t in my face. It’s not like email where the number of unread messages pops up in my toolbar, and I am alerted to go check it out.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck

All of that changed when I heard about TweetDeck somewhere. I’m not quite sure where it was, but I downloaded it and there goes life. (Fortunately, I haven’t been on the computer very much to get completely out of control.) All of a sudden though, I have a nice pop-up whenever there are new updates. I can choose whether or not my particular update merges with Facebook or not.

My favorite things:

  • Separate columns for tweets, replies and direct messages.
  • The ability to update Twitter and/or Facebook simultaneously.
  • The url box that allows you to shrink urls right on the interface.
  • The option to reply, retweet, or direct message a fellow Twitter-er right from their icon.
  • The ability to mark messages as read.

I think I need technology to slow down…..