Posted in Baseball, Odds & ends

Monday roundup: summer, Magic & baseball broadcasts

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Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. Someone should tell Mother Nature, because it’s still 81 degrees as I write this — a half hour before midnight — and we’re looking at highs in the 90s for much of the week.

Looking back, I feel like this was the summer that wasn’t. If I wasn’t working, it was either too hot or too rainy to do a lot of the things that I would’ve liked to do. And then there were the days that it was a challenge to make myself do anything. Here’s hoping that your summer was better than mine, and that fall will be better to us all.

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My local grocery store has a vending machine near the entrance with various sports cards, Pokemon cards and Yu-gi-oh cards in it. Today it had some envelopes of 10 assorted Magic: The Gathering cards for $1. I bought a couple.

I played Magic a bit in the mid-1990s. It’s a fun collectible card game that puts you in the role of a wizard dueling another wizard. You each build a deck of cards, with lands that you can tap for mana to summon creatures and cast spells, creatures that can battle your opponent or her forces, and spells that you can cast that have a variety of effects.

1536024617096-dd5e8ba9-cfe7-440b-9b68-2170d76f7063_ Obviously, I wasn’t going to find anything especially rare or valuable in a repack package from a vending machine. But there were some “new” old cards that have some cool art, and they inspired some nostalgia. I’d like to start playing Magic again, though I’ve gotta admit that I’m a bit intimidated by the thousands of cards that have come out since I last played. And it’s not helping that I don’t know anyone who still plays.

But hey, participating locations will be holding open house events to promote the new Guilds of Ravnica during the weekend of Sept. 21-23. Amazing Heroes in Union is listed to run an open house on Saturday, Sept. 22… if I’m not working, maybe I’ll be able to go and check it out.

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Over the weekend, I read an article by Richard Dyer calling for a revolution in baseball broadcasting. While his modest proposal isn’t entirely practical, he’s not wrong. Baseball’s traditional broadcast formula, which pairs an ex-player analyst with play-by-play man and a sideline reporter, has worked for a number of years and still works for part of MLB’s audience. But it doesn’t work for everyone.

For each baseball broadcast, create a menu of commentary choices for fans. Have just one visual presentation, but allow fans to pick the style of broadcast they want to hear.

Watch your game, but pick from these broadcast menu choices:
1. Traditional play-by-play guy/color guy broadcast.

2. Sabermetric broadcast (which has already been done several times by Brian Kenny on the MLB Network). Brian Kenny, SABR President Vince Gennaro, or ESPN’s Keith Law, to name a few.

3. Comedian and humorist broadcast. Bill Murray, Jerry Seinfeld, Hank Azaria (“Brockmire”), Paul Rudd, or Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (Robert Smigel). Let’s have some real laughs for once.

Dyer suggests five other menu choices which is at least five more than would be feasible. But really, why couldn’t you offer some different options for different fans? You might just manage to build baseball’s audience.

 

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Posted in Lego

Mighty Mircos: Star-Lord vs. Nebula

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I had some shopping to do this morning, and I mostly got boring (but needed) stuff. But I still have to check the toy aisle when I’m in a store that has one, so I also came home with this little Lego set.

I love the Mighty Micros aesthetic… I imagine that the characters are really lucky little kids who get to dress up as their favorite superheros and play with all the cool toys.

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I’m not sure little “Nebula” knows what a cassette tape is, but there’s no reason to let “Star-Lord” hang onto it.

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And away she goes in her vaguely generic star ship ride-on…

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Little “Star-Lord” doesn’t quite get cassette tapes either, but he’s not going to let “Nebula” take it from him. He hops into his Milano ride-on and gives chase

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“Nebula” spends a little too much time gloating, so “Star-Lord” catches up…

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And now he has all the toys

If Lego’s Mighty Micros sets look like something you’d have fun with, check out Wal-Mart… mine had some (including this one) marked down to $7 from $9.99.

Posted in Lego, Star Wars, Toy Photography

New beginning (1/52)

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New beginning #StarWars #Lego

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Last year, I tried to share a new photo on my toy photography Instagram account every day. I managed to keep up with it into April, but it felt more like work than play.

I enjoyed the challenge and I think it helped me improve as a photographer, but there were a lot of days that I didn’t have any good ideas or really feel like taking pictures.

This year, I’m trying for a more modest goal of at least one photo per week. If I share more than one photo per week, I will choose my favorite to post here on Friday.

The picture above features Lego Rey and BB-8 minifigures on their way to a new adventure. I like the theme and composition, but if I re-did the photo, I’d take a bit more time with the background.

Posted in Lego, Star Wars, Toy Photography

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar, Part 5 of 5

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Merry Christmas #Lego #StarWars Advent Day 24

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