Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Kickball Footage: Still Not Getting Any Better at This Video Thing

Had some offline time this weekend, so I was catching up on some photos and videos. Here's a quick clip from a kickball game on 5/21, notable for a sexy play at home (Please excuse the cameraman's hooting.):

We won the game pretty handily.

The next video is from 6/11 -- we were short-handed, but after a back and forth effort, we went into the bottom of the 6th down by a couple of runs. Somehow, we managed to pull off a win:

This particular video, I finally stopped using the Fade to White transition and moved to the Cross Dissolve. (This was a big step for me.)

Also, even though the camera shake is pretty minimal (well, except for the part where I was laughing because Dennis baited a fielder into making a play for him, so Michelle could get home), I didn't use any of the homemade Fig Rigs or Poor Man's Steadycams or anything -- just held the camera carefully.

One of these days, I'll invest in a real digital camcorder. As well as figure out how to optimize the file export settings -- I'm still not happy with the quality, especially after YouTube gets done with it.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Using My Poor Man's Steadycam to Document Our Lackluster Kickball Performance

We had a kickball game on Wednesday. Even though it wasn't cold and rainy, the team was pretty flat offensively and we lost. (I went 0 for 2 at bat, including kicking into a double play, and was accused of being a rules lawyer because I reminded a girl that she couldn't take a lead off of first base.)

It did give me a chance to finally test out the Poor Man's Steadycam that I built just over a year ago (and hadn't used since).

The results were... mixed. I didn't really try walking around with it, just doing some basic panning. Even so, there's a lot of camera shake, because instead of using the prescribed 2.5 or 5 pound counterweight at the bottom, I just used a screw-on cast-iron flange, which I thought I could get away with because my Canon powershot only weights 1/4 pound. It saved weight, but basically killed the motion-dampening action, which defeats the whole purpose of the thing (other than to make people wonder "What the heck is that guy holding in his hands?").

Also, the wind noise is really prominent in spots -- need something with an external mike and one of those fuzzy covers.

Anyway, here's the video (make sure you click the "HQ" option, I may not have picked the best file size settings):


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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tales of Kickball Glory, Part XXVIII

We had a kickball playoff game tonight. It was kind of iffy for a while, seeing as how we dug ourselves into a 4-0 hole after the first inning. But we stuck with it, held on, and went into sudden death rules after 6 innings. And we won.

(Also, it managed to stay comfortably over 60°F, which is nice for the first week of November in Virginia.)

My own performance was somewhat lackluster on the offensive side -- I had a fly out that (unintentionally) became a sacrifice RBI, as well as another fly out that just... sucked.

However, on the defensive side, one play that didn't suck, came when I was fielding at first base. The kick went to third, and the throw to first went slightly... wide.

I dove and managed to stop the ball, but I ended up hitting the deck, with my head was closer to the base than my feet. So, I cradled the ball to my body with my right hand, then with a fervor (I was told, later) seen only in Press Your Luck contestants giving their best "Big Bucks, No Whammies!" slap, reached out and tagged first base -- with authority.

I made the play, and (I was also told, later) took some of the wind out of the other team's rally.

Plus, I later made the last out of the game.

Adult kickball, as I like to say, is 30-45 minutes of light- to moderate-physical activity, followed by 3 to 4 hours of heavy drinking.

But every once in a while, it offers a bit of redemption.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Unnecessary Followups: Steak & Ale, Stinky Bandages

I should have mentioned this last week (when it would have been mildly relevant, since news of the Steak & Ale bankruptcy had just come out), but I worked at Steak & Ale the summer after I graduated from college.

Yes, kids: The economy stunk on ice back in the early '90s, too. Suck it up.

I was doing an internship in NYC weekdays, then working part-time nights and weekends as a prep cook. It mostly meant making salads, so I learned how to use a chef's knife properly (at least, when it came to vegetables.)

Anyway, I still have the t-shirt:

I never did eat there, though.

In other followups:

* The smell emanating from the Tegaderm bandage covering my road rash has progressed from sweaty fat guy to dead, sweaty fat guy. It's seriously making me ill. Fortunately, it's starting to itch, so I don't think I'll need it for much longer.

* DCRTV reports that 94.7 The Globe will be switching formats back to classic rock. If true, this means that my prediction wasn't wrong -- just late. (Eight months late.)

* In spite of my earlier doubts, it looks like I will, in fact, be headed to this year's Virgin Festival. So I got that going for me. (To keep things even, I missed out on Saturday's Fark Party at The Big Hunt, which I had been "definite" for, due to two competing birthday parties sandwiching it.)

* DCist notes that the City Paper reports that the WAKA vs. DC Kickball suit was quietly settled back in April. Commenting representatives of kickball365.com (Motto: "A forum for people who take kickball way, way too seriously") haughtily note that they reported this in May, to a resounding chorus of chirping crickets.

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Now I Remember Why I Used to Wear the Long Socks for Kickball

My team played in the Fairfax Athletics Co-Ed Adult Kickball Spring 2008 finals last Thursday.

We went in undefeated (which I was a little ambivalent about -- did we really want to be "those guys" in a social league?), but it was a close game -- a real pitcher's duel. I fielded first base, had a few good catches and fielding plays and otherwise didn't screw up.

Both teams were scoreless going into the 7th, so overtime rules went into effect, with batters getting 1 strike, 1 ball, or 1 foul (2 for women). That was a little stressful, especially since I hadn't been kicking well. But somehow I got on base, got advanced to second (taking a kickball to the face in a veeeery close play), then got RBI'ed in for the winning run, which was pretty cool. And then we celebrated at the bar.

In the third or fourth inning, though, I'd slid into second base -- not only did I still get out, but I got another raspberry/road rash for my trouble:

Emo road rash guy.

It wasn't too deep, but it was enough to make me not want to slide again, which is why getting to second in the 7th was a lot closer than it should have been.

Wound Care: Treating Road Rash With Tegaderm
I got one of my first kickball raspberries in 2004. After that, I started wearing long socks and was okay for a while, though that didn't help me in 2006 (which is also when I learned about using Tegaderm instead of ointment-and-gauze).

I didn't rock the long socks this season because it was a more relaxed league. Silly me.

The abrasion wasn't that deep, so when I got home, I thought I might be able to get away with a spray-on liquid bandage. You know the kind that doesn't sting on open wounds? I had the other kind. It wasn't fun.

The next morning, I saw that I needed a more substantial covering, so I re-cleaned the wound and covered it with two 2-3/8"x 2-3/4" sheets of Tegaderm that I had, patching them with a couple waterproof band aids.

If you read what's out there (search tegaderm road rash -- you'll get lots of biking and skating forums) you'll see the theory behind using the plastic bandages -- basically, it keeps the wound moist so a scab never forms -- it'll grow new skin faster, with less scarring.

In practice, it's like having a big plastic blister, especially when it starts filling with ooze. And, it's transparent, so you can see what's going on. It's really gross. Especially if it leaks -- it can get pretty rank. Which is why you also might want to cover it with paper tape and gauze.

Mine was starting to get gamey by Sunday, so I decided to upgrade to a larger bandage -- 4"x6", with padding in the center (they sell them in single packs for $4 at CVS -- it's worth it -- I didn't know they carried them in the larger sizes).

The pad also covers the wound, so you don't have to look at it so much.

Anyway, I'm using this as an excuse to take a break from working out. But a few more days and I should be back to normal.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yes, We Have No Fall Kickball Today

So, due to a lack of lighted fields (at least, any that will let us play on them), it looks like there won't be any adult kickball in Fairfax County this year.

This is after both WAKA and the new Fairfax Athletics league fell through. (The latter was especially disappointing, since they have different rules and I would have gotten mad props for coming up with an option that didn't involve playing in Manassas or Springfield. Word.)

Though disappointing, I will survive and possibly even find something else to do. (Soccer? Too much running. Dodgeball? Too painful. Volleyball? Too much suck. Something.)

Perhaps this is not a bad thing, given that I cost our team a trip to Boston -- in our playoff semifinal game, Gonz kicked a three-run homer over my head.

This is not an excuse -- well, not entirely -- but we'd moved the fields a bit after I'd spotted some broken bottles in our usual spots. Consequently, we were playing a lot closer to the other field, and I was playing too shallow in right field -- running back on a slight downhill, I got a hand on the ball, but ending up eating it, and we lost.

The winner of that game, of course, went on to play Kick Asphalts -- no surprises there, but the 1st and 2nd place finishers had the opportunity to go to Boston for nationals.

Oh well.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Happy Hour First

Just got back from an on-campus work happy hour, from 3-5pm. (So it's essentially pre-gaming for our kickball playoff game. We won last night. And we weren't involved in any fights, unlike the other game that went on. Yes, people were throwing hands over kickball.)

It was somewhat odd timing, though it did include a few product demos.

I have to say -- this is the first happy hour that I've come away with actual action items.

I must not be doing it right.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

My 2 Primary Accomplishments Last Week

I actually did a bunch of stuff last week, but the two things I will mention are:

1. I got my name mentioned in Gene Weingarten's 5/2 Chat Update for a correction I'd sent in.

2. During our kickball game on Thursday, as I was playing first base, I ran over and caught a line drive that was shooting towards the gap, then helped convert the double play by throwing to third to catch the runner (who hadn't tagged up), which ended the inning and got us out of a sticky bases-loaded situation.

You'll have to take my word for it.

I also made this animated gif from the bar:

Natalie decks Paul, animatedly.
Natalie decks Paul in animated fashion.

See my full set from the fields and Carpool afterwards, which includes:

* Ben and Julia singlehandedly setting back race relations a few decades:


* Tongue kissing:


* And karate fighting:


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Monday, April 23, 2007

Social Roundup: Kickball, Over the Rhine, Jimmy's and Liberty Tavern

Our first kickball game of the spring season was this week; I'm playing Thursday nights with the David Hasselhoff Fan Club. Our color is brown:

Jason Pitches
Jason pitches.

We didn't win.

I hung out at Carpool for a bit, then bolted for Jammin' Java in Vienna, where
Over the Rhine was playing a show rescheduled from December.

I got there a little late, a few songs into their set. It was a seated show and I was in the back, but I was eventually able to work my way up to the side of the stage:

Over the Rhine's Linford and Karin
Over the Rhine's Linford and Karin

It was a good show. I bought 2 CDs (though one was a compilation album). You can see the full Over the Rhine photoset here.

I also ran into my friend Mike, who's a photographer and shoots there a lot.

After the show, I made it back to Carpool (at about 11pm) to hang out with the holdouts.

My back and legs were really sore the next day, which is kind of sad, since I only made it to bat once, so there wasn't really any running to speak of. And, of course, it was only tonight that I realized that an over-the-counter painkiller might help with the soreness. Duh.

Friday, went to Jimmy's for the fish fry, where I had a very large piece of fish.

The crowd seemed a lot more college than I remembered, and it wasn't just because of all the Virginia Tech shirts. I'd just gone to get something to eat, so I left before the fire-breathing bartender show at midnight.

Saturday, I was woken up by the credit card company, calling to check on some suspicious charges on my card. Boy, that got me up in a hurry -- I fell out of bed going for the phone.

It turns out that my payment to my French-based domain name registrar triggered the alert, which was a bit odd, since I've used them for a few years now.

Saturday night, went to Liberty Tavern (after reading this blog review); as Metroblogging DC notes, it was very loud. Plus, the bartenders were slammed (a situation not helped because they didn't have a door guy and they had to check IDs); hopefully, both of those things were just part of the opening commotion.

I didn't take any pictures (didn't have the camera, but had the new phone, which has a 2-megapixel camera). There was lots of eye candy in the bar; there was also a lounge area that we didn't get to sit in. The space is a lot like Harry's Tap Room or Boulevard Woodgrill -- any of the newish, mostly-interchangeable places in Clarendon that cater to suburban professionals.

Sunday, just read the paper, messed around with some kickballers in the park, bought some groceries, and cooked some chili. That was about it.

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