Well that was real mature...

Well that was real mature...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fall Baseball, Hate Mail, Thank Yous & New Dr. Who

Another round robin of assorted potpourri!

Fall Baseball
Xander started the fall session of Baseball a little over a week ago. Having been an assistant coach back in the spring, I volunteered to coach or manage a fall team. I found out two weeks ago that I would get to manage and to sweeten the deal I even got teamed with another assistant coach from Xander's little Pirates team. He's a fantastic coach and has forgotten more about baseball than I will ever know. The best part is we have a very similar coaching philosophy. First we believe that all the kids need to play. I always hate it when the "best" six kids play the whole game at key positions and six "bad" players alternate between the bench and outfield. Coach and I both agree that the only way to learn, REALLY LEARN, is by doing. So first we take the approach that EVERYONE plays and EVERYONE sits out. It was something I pushed for back in the spring and was over ruled on. Now, we get to put it in action. The old way, only teaches a kid who is struggling that the bench and right field suck. We believe that our way will get them excited about baseball. Second, while some kids may be stronger in certain spots, ultimately it's in their long term best interest to teach EVERY kid EVERY position. Yea, in the short term our win-loss record may not be impressive, but it should be about the kids' long term development. In the spring, whatever team they end up on, they will be able to play anywhere on the field. That's far more important than a win-loss record for fall ball. We also believe in getting back to basics. Our fall ball team, which is a fantastic group of kids, consists of a wide range of experience and abilities. One kid has never played before while some are All-Stars, and we have all kinds in between. Our idea is start very basic, we don't want to leave the beginner behind and the experienced kids need refreshers - as I tell them "Even Freddie Freeman hits off a tee at practice." It's exciting to know that we can have some kind of impact on these kids long term. Not just in terms of learning but in terms of loving the sport. Too often the adults get too wrapped up in it and turn it into "Daddy Ball" (a term I learned from the grandmother of one of my players) with a "winning at all costs" attitude or a "my kid first" attitude. Our goal is to give it back to the kids by making it about basics, fun, and, you know, actually playing ball.

Hate Mail (or Post)
I tweeted a while back that my wife found a facebook post criticizing one of my blog entries. You would think my feelings might have been hurt, but honestly it's just someone's Facebook post. Why get upset? Truthfully it was hilarious. Peter David once commented years ago in his "Comic Buyers Guide" column that demented off base hate mail usually follows the three D's - Distort, Distract and Dissemble. And it followed that pattern EXACTLY. First, it took something I wrote and distorted it to say what they needed it to say to justify their ire rather that what it actually said. Second, it tried to distract from the actual issue by bringing up a completely unrelated issue. Finally, they wrote something that was just flat out not true. Honestly, while I was not overly surprised (I had been expecting some sort of hate mail, just from a completely different blog entry) I am shocked at the effort they went to in distorting, distracting, and dissembling. I thought about copying and posting it here (sans name, of course) and picking it apart one line at a time just for fun, but truthfully if someone, anyone, gets THAT upset about one of my blog entries they must have some issues in their personal life that need addressing. I have been considering printing and framing the post and keeping it on the wall in my office, not just as a keep sake for my first "hate mail," but as a reminder that it's best not to get upset over unimportant things like someone's blog (or Facebook posts or tweets). My honest suggestion to anyone who tortures themselves by getting worked up over such things is: if you ever don't like someone's blog or tweets or Facebook posts, stop reading them because if they tear you up that much once, then it will probably happen again. As to that initial blog or post that got you riled up, if you dislike their opinion that much, you have to ask yourself *why* do you care what they blog about, *why* do you even care what their opinion is? Chill, life is too short. As the kids say today: "Haters gonna hate." It doesn't matter if it's a blog you disagree with or a Facebook post that distorts, distracts and dissembles, let it go, their opinion doesn't matter. There are so many more important things to worry about in the world. Which brings me to...

Thank You to My Readers!
Those of you who come back time and time again, or recommend my blog to friends, thank you so much. My "clicks" have been off the hook lately. I don't know if you are Adventures in Pulp fans who are finding your way here from that site or if you are a twitter follower who wants to follow the long form, or are just a blog fan who randomly tries stuff out at Blogger, but no matter what: THANK YOU. Every click, every link, every time you suggest someone to google my blog, leads search algorithms to make it easier for others to find my blog and my work at Adventures in Pulp. My readership spans the US, Canada, Europe and more, which honestly shocks me. I frequently find my own entries to be self indulgent and uninteresting (mainly because I am not that interesting a person). But I must be interesting reading to someone (you poor soul). Anyhow, please keep those clicks coming and thank you!  Truthfully, I find my fiction far more readable than the blog.  For example, we are six pages into Chapter 1 of JIGSAW WORLD. Those of you who might have been wanting something longer with more character development, this is your book. Also fans of Flash Gordon style pulp adventure sci-fi comics might want to check in on this one.

New Doctor Who!
The family unit settled in Saturday night to watch Peter Capaldi debut as the new Doctor on "Doctor Who." As with all premiere episodes, they play it cagy as to what the new Doctor's personality will be with his post "regeneration" confusion and madness. At this point ,the dance is almost always the same: An actor leaves and fans panic, only to try the new guy and to find, while different, he's pretty awesome in his own right. I think, while Capaldi is a HUGE departure from the much younger Matt Smith, fans will come to embrace him and love him as well.  Besides the episode had steam punk cyborgs and dinosaurs roaming Victorian England. How can anyone hate THAT? Yeah, I am such a nerd.

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