June 2008: Somewhat sappy dad post

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Thursday July 3, 2008.

It was a somewhat sparse month here at mrjerz.org, but the quality was still there. The forthcoming newsletter has been weighing on my mind. What should I do? Should I promote the entire reach of my empire, or should I just keep it to this site and what goes on here. Obviously it will be a learning process. One section will undoubtedly be this post. It’s got a permanent home in the newsletter.

The choices this month were good ones, but there really was just one that could take it.

First up, Which color profile should I use for online photos?. Not only was this a test that I actually conducted instead of guessing and all that, but the comments were graced by someone who might be about as expert as it gets in this arena. Local photo nerds probably have no idea who they once had in their midst. Zack Sheppard left Reno about a year(?) ago and went to work for Flickr. He still seems to pay a good amount of attention to this town, and his help on the color profiles was hugely appreciated.

Second up, There’s more to life in Reno, Nevada. This was experiment all the way. It was a technique I had seen done by the folks at MediaStorm. Back in February 2007 Brian Storm came to town to speak at the journalism school and he showed us a few pieces from their site, which could be the pinnacle of multimedia distribution. Their stuff is brilliant, and Brian is very cool. I had the good fortune of hanging out with him at Tonic downtown for a few hours, along with MSNBC.com’s managing editor. The two of them knew each other well, and one of my good friends, who has since moved on to MSNBC.com was the link. We had a great time. Anyway, the piece that inspired my video is about Iraqi Kurdistan. It’s very well done, and I could learn a lot just by watching it about 50 more times. Now, Canon has a commercial where they are doing the same thing. I’ll have you know I did my video about two days before I saw that spot. They do it differently, and also very well. That video may ultimately be a joke around here if I continue to do similar things, but I like it and hope to improve on it.

Third up, The Reno Gazette-Journal hates the internet. It’s simply ridiculous to publish what amounts to a press release about an internet campaign, but exclude a single mention of the link in print and online. Who makes that decision?

Finally, the winner. My somewhat sappy dad post could be one of my favorites of all time. It may be that point where I’ve crossed over from somewhat disinterested dad (on purpose) to fully-involved baseball dad. Not really. But I do remember the pitch and have crafted in my head a very precise series of events leading to the home run. They go like this:

  • Pitch one: swing and a miss—crap, that was up, he’s not going to catch up to that pitch. Learn to lay off the high fastballs, will you?
  • Pitch two: outside for ball one—great, this guy just walked a kid and it should be 2-0.
  • Pitch three: crushed—Jesus, it’s up again. WHY ARE YOU SWINGING?! Woah, he hit that pretty well. Looks exactly like the one he hit yesterday that didn’t go out but I thought it was and started celebrating. Keep quiet. Ouch, that kid hit the fence pretty hard going back. Holy shit it’s gone!
  • Hurry, go put that on Twitter!

Keep in mind that the last pitch took a total of about four seconds for the entire string of events to happen. But it all did go through my head. And I really did think the ball was too high to swing at, but he caught up to it. He should have let it go by, but if you can catch up to high fastballs, then by all means hit them. I never was able to hit very well with anything above the belt, which could be why I’m now a baseball dad and not a baseball player.

This post also has the distinction of being the first one specifically mentioned by a co-worker as a good one. I’m getting over the fact that co-workers read this stuff now. Even when you make a concerted effort to be open and transparent, as I have, it’s odd that people in different parts of your life read this and talk to you about it. After initially being a little shocked by that, I’ve moved on and can now talk about it with them.

So June has ended. My birthday is behind me again. And The Boy took the month’s honors. I didn’t even ask the dogs what they thought this month. It was a slam dunk decision.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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