Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving one and all!

I hope you all enjoyed your day of food, family, and football (not necessarily in that order) .... Thanksgiving is always a special day, as I love to take the time to really reflect back on the things that are most important to me.... the love of my great family, and the fact that I am truly blessed to do work that I love.

Today I attempted to launch a new aspect of my website... the streaming of sports events over my website, It is an exciting venture that, once I get it going, will be over the top. The sky will be the limit.

As with any new technology, there is a learning curve involved. Today I took a few lumps, but learning definitely did occur. In spite of my best efforts, I was unable to get the broadcast on for the first half. I attribute that to my newness with the technology and to a lesser extent maybe some connection issues. But I was able to get the thing going and stream the second half of the game (oh, by the way, Stoughton won, 26-6).

The technology I am using is called UStream. It is a broadcast platform where you can broadcast anything. Here is the catch- the device I use will depend on where I am and what the Internet connection is. If I am in a place where wireless is available, I will bring my laptop and do an audio broadcast. Here's the GREAT thing about that- I will be able to post on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc., and chat with you during the event. That is an invaluable tool in my opinion. Unfortunately, many high school locations do not have wireless capability. In that event, I will do the game straight from my phone (as I did today). As far as I can tell, doing it this way requires me to video the event while providing commentary, and my chat options are much more limited. But as I said the sky is the limit. I have used this technology previously in my baseball time in Kalamazoo, and I love it. Oh, and I can instantly see how many viewers I have!

I just want to ask for your patience as I continue to work out the kinks. Once I learn everything I need to know, watch out. These streams will get better and better. For those who tuned in and could not view the broadcast, I'm sorry. Thanks for trying. And for those who stuck with it and eventually saw the broadcast today, thanks to you as well.

I found out also that during the game, whenever I received a text message or AIM, the broadcast would kick off the air and I would have to relaunch it. Ah, yes, part of the learning curve again.

As for the other stuff in my life, Merrimack hockey is going great. The team is 4-2-4 and became a ranked team in the national polls for the FIRST TIME in school history. Yes, that is a big deal. I love every second of this job. Let me go back to the Thanksgiving concept again- I truly feel blessed to be broadcasting hockey, It is a lifetime dream. Somebody pinch me.

As for the baseball stuff, I am still very much in limbo. I have heard nothing from the Freedom, and every day that goes by lessens the chances I will be back there. This whole situation deeply saddens me, especially now that my good friend and former colleague Fran Riordan is heading in to manage the team in 2011. How wonderful would it be to be reunited with Fran again..... but all indications are that the team is looking elsewhere for a broadcaster.

I'm also working on my next book, my auto biography. The manuscript is due out in February.

Whew! Have I told you enough?

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy " Black Friday" tomorrow. How many of you are hitting the stores at 3 AM?

I'll catch you all soon!