April 30, 2009

municipal stadium.

with the 40th anniversary of the kansas city royals happening this year i decided to look into their history a little more intentionally. i was sort of confused - i knew that kauffman stadium (then royals stadium) was built in 1973, and with all the renovations happening this year i thought the big 40th anniversary hooplah was because of the stadium. but 2009 - 1973 ≠ 40. i'd forgotten that the royals played at municipal stadium for 3 years before first taking the field on the turf at royals stadium in 1973.

municipal stadium was primarily the home of the negro league's kansas city monarchs from 1923-1955. it also hosted the the kc blues during the same time as the monarchs, the kc athletics from 1955-67 before moving to oakland, and the chiefs for 8 incredible years until 1971. buck o'neil played there from 1938-1955 and jackie robinson called municipal stadium home for two years before he broke the color barrier in the major leagues in 1947.

the ballpark was demolished in 1976 and replaced by a public garden, but today it is being replaced with a housing development. for some reason this really saddens me. there was a terrific history at municipal stadium, and it sure would've been an awesome attraction to add to the 18th and vine district around kansas city missouri. now there's just a lame sign that's meant to remember the great history there. it seems like a disgrace to me. i haven't actually been there, read the sign and explored the surrounding area, but just the fact that i haven't heard much of anything about municipal stadium in my 23 years of calling kansas city home doesn't say much for how well the old stadium is being remembered. (also check out old downtown kc in the distance of the pic to the left.)

maybe i'm just a sucker for baseball stadiums. actually, that's exactly what it is. it's an incredible blend of architecture and recreation that you don't get in any other sports. there is no other sport that features asymmetry and different dimensions between ballparks. one could possibly argue that golf offers this, but in terms of building architecture there is no comparison. basketball, football, soccer, hockey - they all have specific dimensions. baseball stadiums all have their special quirks and unique feels to them. shorter fences, longer fences, higher fences and smaller ones, a small hill in center field, brick walls or ivy in the outfield, tough angles and nooks in the left and right field corners, etc.

i just find it astonishing that they demolished it and have replaced it with a bunch of houses. it seems disrespectful for some reason - especially to a stadium with the extensive negro leagues history as municipal had. obviously we can't get it back, but it's fun to wish it was still around.

in other news: john buck just hit a triple...just wanted to show billy butler how to do it.
EDIT: john buck just hit ANOTHER triple.


April 29, 2009

zacchaeus meets jesus.

why does jesus appear to be a doctor?
why does zach's face look like an ogre?
and why do friends take other friends for a ride in their wheelbarrow?

and did you know that you can now alter the color of the bottom bar when you embed videos from youtube? i picked red/pink. woooowwwww.

props to weesh for sharing.


April 24, 2009

orc dx.

karlie and i ate dinner at oklahoma joe's yesterday and i just couldn't resist the freshly stocked disc selection. after much deliberation i decided on the Orc DX. i went out and played 18 with it at swope park this afternoon (in the stupid stupid wind), and i'm pleased to report that its a pretty great disc. i didn't get a perfect feel for it because of the wind, but i have a sense that the Orker and i will be great friends.

here's my spike hyzer drive on hole 12:

took it on my phone, so it's not the best photo, but i was pleased with the tombstone outcome. and what a lovely shade of blue. i call it "it's a boy!" blue.

and just for the record, here are the discs i'd like to own next (in order):
skeeter dx.
r-pro dart.
champion groove.
pro wraith.
star TL.

i need to revolutionize my bag. it's pretty battered and warped. i know there are maybe 3 people who frequent my blog that give a rip about what i've got in my disc golf bag. but you know what? i'm excited again. and i'm addicted again.


April 23, 2009

goodbye, tony gonzalez.

tony gonzalez traded to the falcons for 2010 2nd round pick.

i understand why we did it, tony's getting old and he only has 1 or 2 seasons left in the NFL, and it will be nice to pull a 2nd rounder next year that will contribute to the team in the future. the question i think you have to ask is whether TG's contributions this year would have outweighed a 2nd round pick's contributions in the distant future.

i say yes. and for the following reasons:

1. the falcons have the 3rd toughest schedule in the 2009 season, which means that their pick in the 2010 draft is likely to be in the 1st half of the selection. a late first round pick is nearly as good as an early 2nd round pick.

2. tony didn't want to be in kansas city. when a veteren player, and team leader, doesn't want to be on the team then that attitude translates to younger players. since that is all the chiefs have on their team at this point then i think it's a good move.

3. the chiefs can pull a very decent player out of the 2nd round. assuming average NFL success, i'll take a solid OT or DT for a few years over 1 year of tony.

at the end of the day though, tony's going to be missed. i'm sure it's emotional for everyone in kc to say goodbye to the guy - i know it will be for me. and it would certainly be nice to have his production this year. we won't know how this trade pans out for 5 or 6 years probably. it depends entirely on what we do with this 2010 pick and how successful that decision is in the future.

i'm sad. but very optimistic. i have faith in the pioli/haley era. it's different, and i have to be okay with that. i trust them with my fandom.

so long tony. we'll miss you.


life after 8-bit.

i broke out RC Pro AM today for my nintendo. it brought me back to some of the better years of my life*. i was a 1 year old when this game was released and i was 6 when my parents bought it for me.

we have a home video of the christmas morning when i was told that there was a gift for me in the basement. i run downstairs and freak out - not quite to the extent of the nintendo 64 kid - but i throw at least one fist pump into the air. i push in the power button and start the game up. then the following conversation ensues...

mom: what do you think, adam?
me (mesmerized): ...

mom: do you like it adam?
me (mouth gaping open): ...

dad: adam. your mom asked you a question.
me (drooling): ...

and so began Life After 8-Bit.

unlike today's video games with 390 buttons on the controller - NES only has A, B, Start, Select, and the D-Pad (up, down, left, right) - but that doesn't mean the gameplay was any simpler. in fact, one could very easily argue that NES games were substantially more difficult than the games of today. those games didn't have the life meter that slowly decreases as the game goes along. NES was Licensed to Kill mode. one shot and you're dead. how in the world did people ever think that kids would enjoy these things? these are adult-style games. these games are HARD.

back to RC Pro-AM. when i was a kid my dad and i would play the game together. he was given the B button (gas pedal) and the D-Pad (steering wheel), i was responsible for the A button (weapons). i remember my dad getting so so frustrated playing that game, but i would always be having the time of my life. all i had to do was sit there and blow up these little RC cars when they got in front of us. i cared nothing about winning or losing, i just wanted to shoot rockets.

but today, i felt like my dad. that game is HARD. i got to like the 11th level (of the "32 tracks of racing thrills") and said out loud, "how am i supposed to beat this? it isn't even possible." i was getting frustrated and annoyed. these games aren't for kids. these games are made for adults.

this is why i will never ever get rid of my nintendo. i will play it with my kids someday, and when they've grown and they move on to simpler video game consoles like Wii**, XBox 360 and PS3, i will still have my NES hooked up to the massive plasma screen in my living room. you can have your amazing graphics and realistic gameplay - i just want a challenge...and i want to continue to relive my childhood forever.


* - this is not to say that the current time of my life isn't also one of the "better years of my life" - on the contrary, i think 2009 is going to be a year to remember in my life - but you understand.

** - and for everyone that thinks that the Wii has revolutionized video game play...they just reinvented the wheel. i've had the power pad for the better part of two decades now.

April 21, 2009

royals marketing fail.

so the royals are giving away replica jerseys this saturday. the first 20,000 fans will don* the number 40 in order to commemorate the royals' 40th anniversary. this is a pretty cool promotion, except for one major flaw:

kyle farnsworth is #40.

yes, kyle farnsworth. the one who "throws gas" - but never manages to ignite it into a fireball or even smoke - it's just a 100 mph meatball for guys named thome or young to pummel 427 feet. so far the royals have lost 5 times. he has lost 3 of them - and in impressive fashion. just the guy you want to be wearing your anniversary number. this is almost as disappointing as billy butler jersey night was last year. disappointing is an understatement. more like embarrassing.

if he comes in to pitch on saturday people ought to just put their new jerseys on the end of a stick and wave it around in surrender. and then it can continue until they wise up and either send him down to omaha or drop him entierly. what a disappointing beginning to the 2009 promotions.


* - i've utilized the word "don" in two consecutive posts now.

countdown to may 16.

24 days. 4 exams, 3 quizzes, 2 papers, 1 research proposal...

...and 1 extremely checked out student.

life is waiting for me in kansas city. it's like christmas is right around the corner - on may 16th i get to unwrap a whole new phase of my life - only in order to make it to christmas i have to first accomplish a bunch of tasks in order to make it home...actually that sounds more like the Wizard of Oz. only instead of bringing back the broom of the wicked witch of the west, this metaphorical Dorothy has been forced to complete a handful of assignments that, while not life-threatening, are equally as obnoxious as that stupid witch's cackle.

when i have the "what i'm doing after college" conversation with people i typically tell them all about how thrilled i am to work at hillcrest, move into an apartment in kc, live in the same city as my girlfriend, etc, but eventually they get to the "is it going to be sad leaving manhattan" question. i usually answer by telling them the following...

every remotely nice day there are two major events occurring on my street in manhattan. first, the house across the street from mine hosts an event in their front lawn that i like to call "let's drink natural light and blare this year's country stampede artists on our truck stereos". second, our neighbors to the west don their cowboy hats and boots and roll out a shopping cart with horns on it. they then spend the next two hours lassoing that shopping cart in their driveway.

i can't get to kansas city fast enough.


April 15, 2009

livingroom pictures.

here's the wedding dave and i shot on april 4:
zach and katie wedding highlights.

we are livingroom pictures.
check it out. tell us what you think.


April 13, 2009

photo in need of caption...

here we see john buck shamelessly taunting the chicago white sucks, but what exactly has mr. incredible said to make carlos quentin so distraught?

you decide...gosh this is going to be hilarious. i can't wait.


some advice to trey hillman regarding john buck.

the royals are 2-0 with john buck in the line-up. they are 1-3 without him.

john buck leads the team in batting avg, home runs and runs batted in...in 1/3 as many at bats.

john buck is batting .500 and slugging 1.000

billy butler is batting .059 and slugging .118.

my advice to trey hillman is this: bench billy butler and start john buck as DH.

and if the stats don't influence you enough, allow me to submit my own personal opinion:
john buck is the best.
billy butler is the worst.
john buck is harder, better, faster, stronger.
billy butler is a tub of Land O' Lakes.
john buck has a history of saving small children named Timmy from wells.
billy butler has a history of forgetting about the peanut butter sandwich in his back pocket and accidentally sitting on it.
john buck has a history of uprooting sequoias with his bare hands.
billy butler has a history of stealing bo jackson's number and rendering it despicable.

i will add that if you do this you are certain to make at least $100 more for your franchise through ticket, parking and concession sales to me alone. not to mention the countless other john buck enthusiasts i have created since you drafted mr. incedible 5 years ago.

thanks for your time, trey. i trust you will do the right thing.


April 08, 2009

ben folds comes to kstate - postblog.

might as well just kick it off with the set list. asterisked songs are tracks that i listed in the preblog:

bitch went nuts (new version)
zak and sara
sentimental guy
battle of who could care less
free coffee (altoids mix)*
dr. yang (new version intro)*
hiroshima (b-b-b-benny hit his head)*
annie waits
you don't know me (sans regina spektor)
fly (joke song)
rockin the suburbs
not the same*
fair (encore)
one angry dwarf and 200 solemn faces (super fast remix) (encore)*

he played 7 of the songs that i hoped to hear. i was a bit nervous at the start because it took a long time for him to come to the tracks i was amped about hearing. it seemed like he structured the start of the show around Way to Normal, but eventually moved along to some of his more familiar songs. as i mentioned in the preblog you never know exactly what to expect from ben. he has quite the repertoire to choose from.

highlights for me:

not the same/army - i'm coupling these because i love them for the same reason: audience participation. the first time i saw ben in concert i didn't get to be apart of the three part harmony or the saxophone/trumpet duet that he leads the audience in when he plays these song. this is what makes ben folds so entertaining - the crowd becomes apart of the song. definitely makes the highlight reel.

one angry dwarf - he played it as the final encore...which i have a feeling he does almost all the time. he played it last when i saw him in des moines too. this has always been one of my favorite songs so it's a great one to end on for me. it's insanely fast to begin with, but just to show off his impressively quick hands - he played it somewhere in the vicinity of 231 times faster. i don't understand how he does it. it's absolutely mesmerizing to watch.

gone - what a surprise! i always forget how great this song is, and i totally didn't expect him to play it^. i don't really have anything more to say about it beyond that. love this song and so pumped that he played it.

great show overall. he's just incredible to see play in person. he just seems so comfortable when he's up there. he talks with the crowd and makes up random songs while he's up there. he tried his best to make up a song about some big eyed fly that he saw on stage mid-show (that's the song 'fly' that you might not have recognized on the set list), but he was totally failing coming up with interesting lyrics about it so he decided to bail himself out by telling jokes in verse form instead. including but not limited to The Pirate Joke.

and i TOTALLY called him doing something sweet with the 'free coffee' track. turns out here's how he got that wacky sound: he takes an altoid box, wedges it into his piano, turns an effect on, and it suddenly sounds completely different.

well guys. that's all i know.


^ - other songs i didn't expect to hear: sentimental guy, lullaby, cologne, JESUSLAND, and fair for an encore!?! freaking awesome. that's my #4 highlight probably.

ben folds comes to kstate - preblog.

today is a big day, and not only because i've blogged three times today.

i am going to see ben folds play music about half a mile from my home at bramlage coliseum. this will be the second time i've seen ben in concert. the first time was in des moines in summer 2007. when his latest album came out in october i wasn't terribly enthusiastic about it, but the more time i've put into it the more i've really enjoyed a handful of the songs on there. i don't like it as much as most of his other LPs, but it's alright. i just hope he doesn't structure his show around it.

here is what i'm hoping to hear tonight:

- one angry dwarf and 200 solomn faces
- narcolepsy
- army
- the last polka
- trusted
- you to thank
- not the same
- hiroshima (b-b-b-benny hit his head)
- dr. yang
- underground
- jackson cannery
- some unbelievable cover you'd never expect from ben*
- some random song he wrote this afternoon**

if i hear a handful of these songs...lets say 7 of them...then this show will be epic. but you never know what to expect from ben. the guy is one of the most theatrically spontaneous artists ever. i could be 100% off the mark, but even if he doesn't play a single one of these - i'm certain that he'll rule.


oh one more addition: i hope he does something great with the synth track on "free coffee". i feel like that song has a lot of potential for greatness in a live show with ben. we'll see. sort of a hopeful prediction.

* - examples: postal service - such great heights, ray charles - them that got,

** - when i saw him in des moines he played a song called "march to reenergize iowa" that he'd written the afternoon before the show. he pulled the lyrics from some flier someone handed him while he was walking around downtown DM. so who knows what i'll hear tonight...ben probably doesn't know himself.

royals questions.

a few questions i have following the royals 4-2 failure against the white sucks last night in chitown:

1. where is ron mahay?
i understand that farnsworth "throws gas" and had just struck out carlos quentin on a sick pitch progression - fast, breaking, faster - but jim thome eats righty power pitchers like kyle farnsworth for lunch. i don't care that ron mahay isn't a 'lefty specialist'. the fact of the matter is that thome slugs .600+ against righties and .400+ against lefties. mahay isn't a lefty's worst nightmare, but a power righty is like handing jim thome a swag bag. yes, farnsworth looked good against quentin, but jim thome needs to be taken seriously. and ron mahay was the answer to that serious situation. not kyle farnsworth.

2. do the royals know how to manufacture runs? with 16 base runners (11 hits, 3 walks, and 2 hit batters) in the game, you have to be able to manufacture more than 2 runs. billy butler can't even hit a sac fly with the bases loaded and 0 outs? mike aviles can't even put the ball in play with runners in scoring position? do we know how to utilize a bunt? you can't leave 11 men on base and expect to win in this league.

3. can we not steal a base? this is a subquestion from the one above, but its super frustrating for me. when coco crisp leads off the game with a single he ought to be able to score. every time. he should be able to take second, advance to third on the next ball put in play and then one of the next two guys ought to be able to hit a sac fly to get him home. we picked the guy up so that he could lead off for us and steal bases. he did his job in the top of the 1st, but someone needs to tell him to steal a base. the royals' offense isn't potent enough to pile on the runs every game. we need to be able to take advantage of situations in which we ought to be able to score.

4. does anyone else miss jimmy gobble? he was the lefty specialist that was supposed to be on our team to pitch to thome until the royals dropped him a few weeks ago. gobble has a history of frustrating jim thome and lefties bat .200 against him. sure would've been nice to have him to turn to for an out. we'd be alone in first place if we hadn't dropped him. RIP jimmy.

hindsight is definitely 20-20, but you don't have to be Puxatony Phil to foresee farnsworth failing against thome.


socio 570.

monday in class we discussed how the urban ghettos are being flipped by wealthy entrepreneurs into million dollar condos. this displaces thousands of poor individuals all over the U.S. you can see this in the P&L district in downtown kansas city.

we talk about how wealthy suburbanites get to go to school, get a degree, and ultimately utilize their privilege to change the face of the world, and we talked about how the poor don't have this privilege and are subject to whatever the wealthy decide to do with the world. they don't really have a choice; hence, why they're being displaced by the wealthy business grads.

my class is comprised almost entirely of white kids - most from johnson county - who are taking this course as a required sociology elective in order to graduate. as i sit in class i start to realize that this class is just another handful of white suburbanites who will go on to have their way in the world while those less forunate are forced to deal with the consequences.

every time the class meets i'm tempted to chime in with something to the effect of "what are we going to do to change this?" or "so are we just another generation of wealthy entrepreneurs?" or "is there something we can do - after taking this course - that would go against the typical flow of privilege?"

it's interesting, and i feel like i'm actually learning something (a rarity for me in public education), but i wish every single day that my professor would turn the corner and move the class away from "this is what is happening" to "here's what we can do about it". i guess that's not the point of a public education, but i can't help but think that would be a little bit more motivating.

maybe i'm just more interested in social justice. who knows. but i certainly would have liked to have been challenged more in school - not just with a larger workload - but challenged on a more personal level instead.


April 06, 2009

a saturday of videography.

i spent 13 hours shooting a wedding on saturday with these guys.

i cannot tell you how great it felt to get a video camera back in my hands. it was like coming back in contact with a long lost friend who doesn't have a facebook. i didn't realize how much i really missed it. it took at least 4 minutes for me to become comfortable shooting and within the first hour i was capturing shots like i haven't in over 5 years.

dave and i got about 8 hours of footage between the two of us. it's such a blessing to get to 'work' with dave. i couldn't've asked for a more perfect situation to re-familiarize myself with videography.

what a cool experience to get to work with jeremy and ashley too. coolest and most talented photographers in kc. hands down. can't wait to see your stuff from saturday, guys. look forward to working with you again in the future.

zach and katie were an awesome couple too. so chill and so fun to get to hang out with for the day. i made some new friends saturday for sure.

more on this when there's a final product to share.