Friday, April 1, 2011

Hockey, Twitter friends, and the "Big Cubano"

Since this blog was created to help me train my focus, I've planned some activities to work on it. I'm calling them "exercises in focus."

One of my first ideas was to pick a player at every Hurricanes game and track that player through the whole game. When he takes a shift, I will follow everything he does during that shift. When he is on the bench, I will watch what he does until his next shift. The benefits are many. In addition to training my concentration, the one-on-one time with a player would help me get to know him better. Maybe he sits quietly on the bench waiting for his next shift, or maybe he yells and encourages his teammates while he is on the bench. Also, watching one player from start to finish would give me an idea of what a game is like from that player's perspective.

The first player I picked was Jamie McBain. He's a great, young defenseman who has a lot of potential. Well, I didn't get to focus on him, because he got injured. My shiny blog can't already be a jinx, can it? I decided to try again a few games later. About ten minutes into the first period, I realized that I hadn't picked a player. Some focus!

In the second period, the visiting goaltender is at our end of the ice, and I like to see the designs on their masks. Al Montoya had something on the back of his mask that resembled the cigar smoking ghost from the Ghostbusters movie. Shiny Thing! Now I was focused; I had to find out what it really was.

Al Montoya, view from my seat

After asking everyone sitting around me if they could see what it was, I decided to ask the experts on Twitter. I've worked hard to make connections with every NHL team, so I knew the expert on the Islanders is @dani3boyz. She replied to my tweet right away with an explanation and awesome photo from the Isles Flickr feed.

The back of Montoya's mask. The Big Cubano. #isles
The Big Cubano picture from the Islanders' Flickr feed.

This is just one example of why I love Twitter. Some people don't understand Twitter, and it's a hard thing to explain. It's more than just sending thoughts into cyberspace. It's about real interactions, and great sources of information. The connections and friendships I've made would never have happened without Twitter.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

All four feet

Anyone who has ever known a Beagle will know that they are completely food obsessed. Our Beagle never holds back when she is on a quest for food. We find her with all four feet in a tipped trashcan or all four feet on the kitchen table (yes, on the table). In our house "all four feet" became synonymous with immersing ourselves in a new project or hobby. You see, we don't just show a passing interest, we get in "all four feet" until the next distraction (shiny thing) comes along. I couldn't possibly list all the unfinished projects we have: quilting, knitting, handmade clothing. Or how much sporting equipment we have in storage: bowling, tae kwon do, unicycling, tennis.


unfinished chicken quilt

unfinished penguin quilt
unfinished outrigger canoe
that time we tried curling

So, why am I getting all four feet in this blogging thing? I've asked myself that question several times. Is it because I have important and interesting things to say? I like to think so, but probably not. Is it because all my cool friends are doing it? Well, my friends set pretty good examples, but I wouldn't jump off a bridge.... I think I'm trying this as an experiment in focus. I'll post about the latest shiny thing that has my attention, and we'll see how long this shiny blog lasts.