October 31, 2007
As the television and internet worlds continue to merge, its interesting to see the ways they adopt cues from each other. NBC's current on-air look, created by design firm Capacity, beautifully takes its cues from the internet to reference interactivity. One of my favorite networks, Current, has always had a progress bar during each of its segments. Today I noticed CNN use the progress bar in reverse to countdown the seconds left in a commercial break. They only used it occasionally, not consistently, which could be dangerous because it calls attention to the breaks that they don't use it in (which are longer); but its still an interesting twist that I'll be curious to see if its use becomes more common. In some ways, its nothing more than a new twist on formatted lines in my old radio DJ days like "you're never more than 10 minutes away from another 10 hot songs in a row..." The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:44 PM
October 30, 2007
October 29, 2007
After the Rockies loss on Saturday, I expected tickets to be easier to find on Sunday. I was wrong. I made it down to the area around the field an hour earlier this time, wandering the spots that seemed to be the best to find scalpers based on Saturday. Again, no one had anything. And again, a community became established among those of us looking for tickets to tip each other off to what they had seen. I did find a few, but prices were ridiculously high. This time I had phone numbers of a couple ticket brokers, but they didn't have much to choose from either. The game was starting soon, and I was getting nervous. We could hear the national anthem and the flyover which came about a minute too early (better than a couple minutes too late like the day before I guess!). I wasn't giving up. Eventually I found one guy on his way in who had a few extras he had bought. He was bargaining with one group when a couple came up and asked him how much for one of the pairs - he gave a much higher price in order to help the group that he was already talking to, but the couple said fine and took em. He still had a couple singles left including the one for himself. I couldn't justify the price he wanted, even though it was reasonable given what else was out there. I kept wandering. Eventually, I ran into him again. He had sold one single for less, and was willing to sell his, hoping he'd get a chance to go on Monday. As I debated with myself, he came down to where I was hoping for. Another quick gutcheck at the turnstile, and I was in. My seat was in the club level, which was a different experience. The weather was perfect for baseball. And the game, well, it was close enough to stay nervous, especially toward the end, but the Sox pulled it out in the end. The only thing missing was 'Sweet Caroline,' but you could still hear a few "bah bah baaah"s throughout the crowd. Afterward, all the Red Sox fans moved down to the lower level seats around the dugout and home plate, and by the time I was down in the middle of them, I looked around and easily 3/4 of the Field Level was full of Sox fans in a sea of red and blue. That was pretty amazing. Unfortunately the Rockies didn't play the tv feed of the celebration over their jumbotron, so it was a little anticlimactic for the Sox fans. I do have to say, The Rockies fans throughout the series and the city were unusually gracious. During the games, with only a few exceptions, most rooting and calling was for their team, not negatively against the other team. And likewise, the Sox fans also were positive and respectful of being in the other teams home and weren't ugly about winning or rubbing it in Rockies fans faces. Thats becoming pretty rare at a lot of sporting events I go to, and was nice to see. So while this years World Series was tougher than others I've been to, and many times while wandering around I wondered if I could keep doing this for future years, it all ended well. My luck held out.
Posted by Jon Berry at 3:22 PM
October 28, 2007
Well true to form, yesterday was an adventure. Based on what I saw online, I was pretty confident that like most Series, there would be a lot of tickets available on the street from scalpers, it would just be a matter of finding the right location at the right price. But I had zero doubts that I would be able to find that. Once I got there, the area around the ballpark was filled with people; and while I saw a lot of people looking for tickets, it was hard to find anyone selling. I walked around holding my sign or holding up my finger, moving to different areas and further out from the park (maybe they were just avoiding the crowds and the cops?), but it still was hard to find anyone. There were tons of people looking to buy. We all started talking to each other as we'd see the same faces in different places. "Have you seen anyone selling?" "No, I can't even find anyone!" "I saw one guy but he only had one pair behind home plate". My confidence was dwindling. The game was starting. People were giving up and going in the bars or walking home. I kept wandering. I kept looking at the outside of the ballpark and was becoming resigned to the fact that that would be my view for the game. By now I was checking sites online with my phone as well. Eventually I saw a post and called it; at the same time a guy asked me if I was selling and I told him I was looking for one. He said he had seen a guy a block away that had one. I rushed down there. It turns out that it was the same guy that I had called, and he did have one, upper level, first row. Ugh. Upper Level. I'm a seat snob when it comes to these things, but it was that or nothing, we were in the bottom of the first. I talked him down in price and finally grabbed it. Theres always that momentary gutcheck when they scan your ticket, but 'ding', I was in. It wasn't that bad of a seat, and I was there. Freezing, but i was there. I got in just in time to see the Sox score 6 and take the lead for the game. It got tight there in the middle of the game, but they were able to tale charge again and hold out til the end. Maybe my luck was still with me after all.
Posted by Jon Berry at 12:22 PM
October 27, 2007
Every year since 2000, I've tried to go to the World Series (with the exception of the NY Subway Series - both fan bases in one place would just make it too impossible to get a ticket). World Series travel is a bit of adventure because you don't know the teams - and thus the places - until just a few days before. So all your planning is pretty last minute and haphazard. So... here I am in Denver. What started out on a bad note ended up going well. I misread my reservation and barely made my flight, the agent said he doubted my bag would make it, and only while on the plane did I realize I should have taken my coat out of my bag just in case. I feared it was one of those signs that everything was going to go wrong this weekend. But when I got to Denver, there was my bag. At the rental car place, I walked out to the midsize row and there was only one car with no keys. The guy at the booth asked if I minded taking an SUV instead for the same price. No problem! Passing by Coors Field, the Clydesdales happened to be sitting outside as though they had just gotten there to set up. And the hotel I booked turned out to be brand new and ridiculously nice. I met up with my friend Heith's friend Eryk for a beer and some breakfast at an all night diner. All in all, a good night. Let hope the luck holds out for getting a ticket to tonights game...
Posted by Jon Berry at 1:18 PM
October 25, 2007
Yesterday we finally started to see some effects from the fires. Even at 12 Noon, the light coming into the house cast an orange glow like you would normally see at Sunset. Today was even more interesting. Looking out on the ocean, the line between sky and water had disappeared, making it seem as though there were tankers floating in the air. It was like having some Salvador Dali painting alive outside your window. As evening approached, the orange returned, giving some amazing color, but if you look closely at the last pic, you'll notice how high the sun still is. Tonight I noticed stars in the sky - I guess we will have to wait and see if its a sign of things clearing up.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:22 PM
October 22, 2007
Yeah, in case you missed the 'sky is falling' news coverage, LA and a lot of SoCal are on fire. It actually is kind of interesting. We were talking on Saturday about the Santa Ana winds coming soon. Then while walking the dogs Saturday night, you could literally feel them arrive. Winds suddenly whipped up and the temperature felt like it rose about 10 degrees. And like clockwork, the next day, there were fires. Nowhere near me is burning, but this time I can see some of the fires from my front porch. Malibu is across the bay from me, and thats where these hard to see smoke plumes are coming from. As usual, when there are fires like these, the one good thing they bring are some pretty amazing sunsets. Its almost like they're Nature's apology. Night also changes the view, with small flickers of orange dotting the mountains where the fires are. As nice as they may be, lets hope these sunsets don't last.
Posted by Jon Berry at 10:38 PM