Friday, July 22, 2011

One Season Ends And Another begins

Today marked the end of my 2011 Spring Softball season.  I think I had a pretty good season.  I hit 2 out of the park homeruns, I had a base hit in almost every game, and I found a permanent position in the outfield.  On the flip-side, technically my team didn't win any games.  I say technically because we won one game by forefit, which I totally count as a win.  My confidence improved, my fielding improved, and I became a more vocal teammate.  Being more vocal on the team is probably what I see as my biggest victory this year.  I was always there to encourage my team each step of the way.

I've played on a lot of losing teams.  Losing isn't painful for me anymore.  So I began focusing on having fun and making progress each game.  Any time a ball was caught, a throw was made, contact between the ball and the bat, a ball was stopped on its way to the outfield, etc.  I was always there to encourage my team.  Each game we got better.  We made strides, we scored more runs, we allowed fewer runs to be scored.  We came closer and closer to winning.  We got to the point where it actually hurt to lose.  We were making such progress that we went ahead in a couple of games, and then we fell apart.  Those games hurt the most because we could almost see ourselves winning.  We could see we had a change to turn things around and then we'd get too confident, and start making mistakes.  No worries though, it showed we were making progress.  It showed we weren't the team we started the season as.  Progressing was most important.  Losing is never fun, but having a good time and making forward progress makes it interesting.

Now that softball season is over, I turn to soccer.  I've started practicing with my team before the season starts and our team looks promising.  I do have a lot of work to do before I'm ready.  I'm setting goals for myself this year, so I can monitor myself and make progress.  I want to truly improve.  I want to get better.  I always talk about being a good soccer player, but rarely do I do anything about it.  This year that changes.  I also want a new pair of boots, but that's another story.

My goals for my 2011 Soccer Season
 - Score 4 goals
 - Be able to play one game without being subbed out
 - Beat a defender with a step-over
 - Kick 4 corner kicks
 - Score a goal via header

I'm trying to be more of a playmaker, and move from playing on the outside to holding down the middle of the field.  I need to be able to run.  I like running, I also need to be able to control the ball.  This year I'm going to make strides towards doing just those things.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My friends and I like music.  We like to make mixes for different occasions.  My one friend has a good number of cd’s on the back of his car.  Each time we get together we discuss new music, they are always introducing me to new artists, mixtapes, and cd’s.  

We’ve always tried to discover new methods of discovering and sharing music between us.  Years ago we’d make playlists via imeem, and share them via Facebook and more recently twitter.  Sadly these days were limited and imeem was eventually bought by Myspace who killed it off.  Since then we’ve been searching for a new, easy, and legit way to share music online.  Today I may have found the solution to our problem.  It’s a little site called 8tracks.  

8tracks is a music discovery service that allows you to discover new music via playlists from other users.  The idea behind 8tracks is that people can come up with better music mixes than algorithms and computers.  8tracks reminds me of a Pandora, but with the songs chosen by the creator of the playlist.  It allows you to upload any track you own to the service to be shared.  

The site is awesome for anyone who is trying to share mixes.  You can create a “Monday Morning” mix of your favorite beginning of the week tracks, then add it to your blog or website, or share the link via twitter or facebook so that you friends can listen to it.  One feature I really like is the fact that you can see similarly tagged playlists and discover new music via other users.  

One minor thing I that discovered that may another some users is the fact that if you try to listen to the same list more than once in a row, it shuffles the song order.  This can ruin some playlists, but it also  could be nothing more than a minor inconvenience.  The site also doesn’t want you to add multiple songs from one artist on the same playlist.

8Tracks is a pretty cool site.  If you are getting bored of Pandora and want something similar with a different variety of music, check it out...