Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Swimming Iphone App

This one isn't a game. It is actually pretty darn useful.

It is called LiveResults and you can paste the link from the hy-tek style live results page at any meet and your iphone keeps up with it in a snazzy, very easily navigatable browser. Download it and try it. I am in awe. When you buy it, the Charlotte UltraSwim is already installed for you to browse.

This link goes to the user guide so you can see how it works. Check it out.

Someone at CollegeHumor is a Swim Fan.

I can't believe I haven't done this search before... really seems to like Michael Phelps and swimming in general. We have all seen their vid about Phelps being a bad sport, but they have plenty more out there. I found at least one article and a couple of decent vids. Enjoy:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Sometimes I should probably just keep my mouth shut, right?

If you were a floswimming fan back in the day you might get a kick out of this one. Garrett McCaffrey interviewed the Diver of the Year at the USAS convention a few days ago, and made a little goof at the end of it. No big deal, but Eric from the Kast-Away blog caught it and posted this comment:

Oh no! I love the coverage of diving and the interview with Troy Dumais.. but Garrett - you fudged the sign-off!
'Troy Dumais, 2009 Swimmer of the Year" haha I'm sure you realized it right after you said it too.

So, me... I had to use it as a chance to bash floswimming. I posted this:

yeah... I caught that too. I think Swimming World TV should fire Garrett. All the cool websites are doing it. It makes for a really solid business plan. I heard floswimming is now a huge success because they had so many awesome people to choose from when their offices were flooded with applications to fill his spot. They saved so much money on the deal, it was like switching to Geico.

I quickly got into a chat with Jason at Swimming World TV, and we agreed that it should probably be taken down. Swimming World TV doesn't need to get in the middle of all that. I probably need to keep my inner smart-ass in check if I am going to post there. I really don't have hard feelings toward flo, so I should probably lay off.

I hope you all can appreciate the humor in all of it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spider-Woman Trailer

Marvel All Over the Place

Marvel is on my mind lately. I just keep running into their stuff. Maybe it is some kind of sign. First there was the news about the Disney buyout. If you google image search about it, you will see that the comic blogging world is abuzz, and there are a lot of geeks out there with photoshop skills making some pretty high quality commentary, not all of it positive.

Then Maxim put out an awesome
article on the 70 year history of the company. Then Slate puts out this amazing vid of my dream job, working in the bullpen of the House of Ideas:

Then gives us a taste of their new pursuit: Motion Comics. I downloaded some of the Watchmen motion comics from itunes and I have to say that it was awesome to be able to have comics on my ipod. Marvel has entered the fray with guns blazing in a new Spider-Woman series by my favorite creative team, Bendis and Maleev. Don't get me started about their run on Daredevil a few years ago. I won't shut up.

Check out the trailer in the post below.
The first issue is free at this link. The rest you can buy from itunes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eat Like Champions

I strongly recommend that every coach carry a video camera around to meets with them. Besides the inherent value of being able to film races and dives, it is just plain fun to goof around and post things like this on your team website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My first post for SwimmingWorld.TV!

When it was announced that Garrett McCaffrey was making the move to SwimmingWorld.TV, of course I got excited. Admit it. You did too. With all of their resources, Garrett McCaffrey and Chris DeSantis joining Swimming World is like when Wolverine and Spiderman joined the Avengers.

Still, I couldn’t help but think through the list of everything I missed from floswimming at it’s height. I immediately started hoping that all of their features would make the move with Garrett; and as Swimming World’s new venture develops, some of them just might. I can’t wait to see where it all goes.

The workouts, meet coverages and interviews were mostly Garrett’s domain so I knew to expect great things there. I figured that some of the other contributors, like myself, would make the move over with him. At flo, more and more meet coverages were being contributed by swim fans all over the world. They had so much more that was just starting to catch on, like all of the features attached to the team “locker room.”

The thing that I had really been missing though, the loss that hurt the most, was the flo community. It was a community based on user contributions and comments left on videos and blogs. I have to say that I felt like an addict, and the absence left a void in my life. Seriously, withdrawals and everything. I sometimes go back to floswimming and cry in my office chair over the lifeless husk it has become.

One of my first blogs at floswimming was about
anonymous commenters. I have been conflicted about them from day one. It bothered me that so many people had so much negative to say about everything and nit-picked with so much zeal… but then, hating on the haters was half the fun. Floswimming had a plethora of anonymous cowards spewing haterade and I could not stop myself from constantly checking the activity board to see the blog-fights unfold. Every once in a while I would even get a text or email from a buddy saying “check out so-and-so’s comment on DeSantis’ last post.” I had to tune in to watch the train wreck and even I couldn’t help but make anonymous comments to make all the rest of the herd of cowards look stupid. It sometimes even became a game to see how long people could sneak really rotten comments past the site administrators, timing them to see how long it would take for them to catch it and delete it.

Swimming World has addressed this head on with a pretty major policy that is a little more restrictive than the world we were used to at floswimming. They are expecting us to attach our first and last name to our comments. I have to admit, that made me a little nervous. When I saw this, my comment (logged in as the Viking of course,) was this:

do I really have to use my real name? When they found out Daredevil's secret identity the Kingpin just about ruined his life. And look what happened to poor Peter Parker? When he "came out" they had to start the whole Spiderman series again from scratch. I don't know if I am ready for this new move. :)

I do know of some coaches who would not send their team to floswimming because the comments were not moderated well enough. They weren’t “family appropriate” and it made it hard for me as a coach to send my summer team swimmers links to some of the videos. I understand why Swimming World needs to have a more restrictive system in place, and really, we should be held accountable for the things we say in a public forum. We are in a sport for which the base of the pyramid is age groupers, after all. We can only hope that this does not scare anyone away from making negative comments that might have some value. I am sure it is not those with dissenting viewpoints that Swimming World is trying to weed out. It is healthy to hear both sides of every argument and they can add to the conversation. If you have something that needs to be said anonymously for your protection, run it past the editors. They are journalists. They check up on tips and protect their sources. It is those who hide anonymously so that they can be rude and obnoxious who need to be moderated. No one wants to visit a swimming web site to watch their granddaughter’s race only to read a whole bunch of comments about why nobody likes her because she is stuck up and snotty. There is nothing okay about that. Period.

SwimmingWorld.TV has tremendous potential. I am thrilled to be on board this new ship, sailing toward a new horizon. I don’t really want it to be just like flo… I want it to be way better. I want it to develop it’s own culture. Let’s start leaving some comments and get this new community rockin’. That is the part that is in all of our hands. If you haven’t made an account yet, you are missing what is going to be a great ride. Log in and let us know what you think.

Paul Winkeler, KC Rockhurst

Last November, when the race videos from the Missouri High School boys meet were posted at flo, the video of Rockhurst breaking the 400 Free Relay record became a pretty spectacular 45 comment blogfight. I felt horrible for the boys on the relay and for their coach. It has to be an awful feeling to do something so great, only to have anonymous cowards take cheap shots at you on the web.

I will be posting soon about Swimming World TV's decision to require names attached to comments. I was in the middle of writing that blog when I ran into Rockhurst's coach Paul Winkeler, and he was nice enough to let me ask him about the comments from that race. I have always wished that the jerks commenting on that post had to attach their names, and I have wondered how many of these particular jerks would have said anything at all if we knew who they were at the time.

Rockhurst seems to have taken it pretty well. Coach Winkeler seems to have accepted the jerks as a part of modern sports.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Inside Joke

Let me know when you see it, I-man. All the kids in class think this guy is really fast, you know... since his name is all over the record board and all. :)

No, really... that is his real name!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Taking a TV and Comic Break.

High school swimming is underway and we will hit our first races tonight. Other than that, the swimming world is just waking up from a nice, long nap. What have I been doing with my spare time?...

We rented the first two seasons of Mad Men on DVD. My wife and I have gone through the marathon of 28 episodes to catch up and finally we can watch the new ones without feeling lost. I think everything about the show is brilliant... so it was cool to see the recent USA Today article saying that the world of the Madison Avenue ad execs in the '60's was very much like the show, and maybe even more so.

Then I saw the big news... Marvel Comics, Inc. was just bought out by Disney. This is huge. I only hope that it does not mean a compromise in the quality of Marvel. The Marvel character based movies are finally starting to get the whole superhero thing right. The Disney deal will hopefully give them the resources to take it into a whole new realm of fanboy heaven. Maybe they will have the nuggets now to finally make a real Daredevil movie. My Viking sense is buzzing over this, in a good way.

...and hey, if Stan "The Man" Lee says it's a good thing, I am gonna go into it with a good feeling. He just makes me want to dress up and fight crime. Ya know what I'm sayin'?

Excelsior, True Believers!