Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New toys

Flip Cam underwater from Mike Ekey on Vimeo.


I am no paid spokesman for Flip, but I have been enjoying the hell out of my camera since December. It was easy to shoot video when the weather was dry and cold. At first, I mostly annoyed the dog with it and so I never worried too much about damaging it.

But when summer rolled on in, I got too nervous to actually take it to the pool our out into the rain... until I got my water-proof case.

The thing was only $25, too.

The sound quality is terrible since the whole camera is covered in a thick plastic and rubber shell, but the video quality is great — both above and below the water.

It's no James Cameron or Michael Bay action, but it's still pretty awesome by my standards — which I suppose are pretty low anyway... just get ready for a lot of Jaws-inspired videos throughout the rest of the summer.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Michael Buble @ The Sprint Center

Michael Buble @ Sprint Center 6-26

The Buble sang on Saturday... the ladies swooned, of course...

Say what you will about the man, but he is a damn good entertainer. It's like watching old Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra flicks as they sing standards mixed in with jokes and a whole lot of brass.

Michael Buble @ Sprint Center 6-26

The librarian loved it.

The show was a good time and although I won't go out and start buying up Buble CDs - or what ever it is kids listen to in their boomboxes these days - it does give me a chance to once again enjoy this awesome clip:

Many more Buble photos here.

Movie Monday

Phew... With the US out of the tournament, the World Cup has once been relegated to another obscure boring foreign sport (like cricket, rugby and golf).

However, I am glad to see the Vuvuzela craze has gone from low-brow noise to high class art as demonstrated by those wacky Germans. Who says Deutschelandians don't have a sense of humor...?

Oh, the rest of the world says that?


Monday, June 21, 2010

Movie Monday

You think KC has race issues? Just imagine the shade of intolerance being drawn in this box...

From Nathan Gibbs.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The weather

The Clouds

Never start with a weather lede...ah, screw it!

The weather has been horendous these past few days - what with the rain and flooding and shifting of earth beneath us... Still, it made for good photos as we sat during the two-hour rain delay at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday night as it poured some more.

What is wild about the top photo is how most all of the clouds were white (my color balancing in Photoshop is a bit weak) and then there was this one cloud in the middle that was a distinct egg-yolk yellow.

I do prefer my weather patterns sunny side up, actually...

Once the rain started to clean the stadium was front and center for a cool double rainbow just across I-70...

Double Rainbow

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Laughing at your pain

laughing dog

The bill for my Wicked Windmill Dunk came in the mail today. Laughing Dog heard me mutter the price tag from the ER under my breath as I read it like a MasterCard commercial. He might be a dog, but he still got the gist of it.

He can be a real ass sometimes.

Perscription pain killers: $50
Ice pads and massage chair: $150
Wicked Widmill Dunk over my brother: Priceless...

No, in all the ER visit actually cost $1,800

...And the medical industry continues to profit from my idiocy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Movie Monday

[Spoiler alert!!] It's a freaking stupid Orbits Gum commercial...

BUT! It has Gob and Michael Bluth...I can only imagine the scorn I would get for not sharing it.

"Selfish, Michael... selfish."


Also, Notice the changes we made to this dumpster of a blog? Yeah, now we are big time... with more photos and (hopefully) more original video on the way the black seems to suit the site a bit more. Not to mention the wider layout mean you get a Texas-sized helping of my photos skilz...

The black motif also highlights my emo heart of death or some teen-angst rage that every blog here seems to represent.

I am still working out some of the kinks, but I think I like it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

PR Day at The K

PRSA Day at The K from Mike Ekey on Vimeo.

Mike Swanson, The Royals Public Relation chief is passionate about what he does ... but then again I guess that is like being passionate about polishing a turd.

That probably sounds harsh, but I don't mean disrespect toward Swanson. He genuinely seemed like a good guy. He was great presenter, funny and harshly honest about what it means to be a Public Relations person for The Royals and other MLB clubs around the nation.

KC Royals PR Guy
Swanson giving us a tour of the clubhouse and stadium.

But he is also a great example of where old school communications - newspapers, PR, marketing all of it - stumble when they don't at least attempt to learn how their audience or community or ticket holders are really talking about you.

Swanson was not shy about talking about former coach Buddy Bell, but he even went into some of the details of the firing of Trey Hillman. If I were an honest reporter, I might even share with you some of the... choice words... he used when telling those stories. But I am not... so you only get the video above about him talking about how the press box at Kauffman is right behind home plate and has no netting or protection from foul balls.

But when I asked Swanson about social media, blogs or anything online to reach out to fan besides the drivel coming from The Star or Jack Harry, he bristled and called them all "a distraction". He explained how he warns players about social media and how to be careful and protect themselves when it comes to fans using social media...

It's an odd contrast to this article that talks about how the whole UFC sport has grown as a direct correlation with its owner recognizing how sports and social media need to be going hand in hand.

Maybe it is apples and oranges, but The Royals sound like they want to build up their walls and do nothing but protect themselves from The Interwebs - and more importantly critical fans. This IS the same ball club that banned players from talking to blogs not to long ago.

In the same clubhouse, though, The Royals are pushing a ton of non-game promotions as a way to entice fans to come to the ball park. You think you would see a kiddie playground or put-put course in our stadium if we were genuine pennant contenders each year? Not at all.

So it seem counter intuitive that The Royals clubhouse (the team) is not embracing every online community, blog, twitter account and other outlets in an attempt to drag fans to the ballpark kicking and screaming.

bobble heads

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

By the pool.

By The Pool from Mike Ekey on Vimeo.

This was going to be a video about the first weekend at the pool over the Memorial Day weekend... instead I went to the emergency room after a wicked windmill dunk injury and was left with about three minutes of JUST the pool before anyone else even got there.

I'm trying to get a little more comfortable taking my Flip camera and still camera near the pool. I always get nervous with my toys around water.

Instead, I tried to enter the Vimeo Weekend Project.  The 5x5 Vimeo Weekend project forced you to upload a video using only five clips of anything that are five seconds long. Idea being that you were uploading 5-second clips you had not used before to create a 25-second video.

Kind of different... and it kept me occupied while laid up for the week.

Monday, June 07, 2010

The system is down...

The Test Kitchen

Blogger was having issues today, so instead you get a strange story of something that happened to me several weeks ago...tough.

There is a reason I do not get invited to fancy secret parties. Mostly because I end up drinking too much and making a fool of myself and my date. It's usually how I get thrown out of family parties too...

But that is a story we will re-visit next week at my cousin's wedding (the reception is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to a place called Temptations Totally Nude... what do YOU think will happen?!)

Anyway... The Test Kitchen event for May was pretty cool. Cocktails from Manifesto and food from The Kansas City River Club made the $40 price tag well worth it. I managed to keep it together pretty well and even heard Manifesto's owner admit they were getting ready to reopen their speakeasy pretty soon here — fingers crossed.

Managed to even get this nice shot of the Bartle Hall sculptures at sunset.

KC Skyline at dusk

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Oh, the horror...

Everyone is having a good time... once the moms and girlfriend discovered that laughing hurt my back and soul, they decided to tell as many jokes as possible... bunch of jackasses I tell ya.

The worst was the idiot X-ray tech who wheeled me into the X-ray room in the bed and then insisted that I stand to take the chest X-ray.

The blinding white pain obscures my memory of what exactly I said while she took the X-rays, but my swearing could be heard throughout the entire hospital wing according to the comic relief that was the two male nurses checking on me all evening.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The wicked windmill dunk heard 'round the pool

max down low
My dog disapproves of my decisions in life.

Not even a month into 26 and already I am one step into the grave... or at least the old folks retirement home...

But I should have seen it coming. It is not a successful Memorial Day holiday until someone ends up in the hospital. In the past it was cousins or distant grandkids that served as supporting characters in our family... A kind of Red Shirt relative if we were living in the Star Trek Universe.

On Monday as I was dominating my brother in some Swimming Pool Basketball I decided to the ultimate act of humiliation by by jumping from about four feet away from the basket attempting a Wicked Windmill Dunk.

I jumped, I body checked him, I extended and threw the ball down as hard as I could.

The pain was excruciating. I thrashed around on the ground hoping to just rub some dirt on it and move on... but my left arm was curling in and I was struggling to breath.

The trip to the ER was awkward and it was like I had been kicked in the nuts... if my nuts were located on my upper-left back...

Dougie Houser, MD, says I tore either a ligament or some cartilage in in my back as I was attempting my wicked windmill dunk.

It hurts to breath, it hurts to stand, it hurts to even lie on my side, which meant last night found me sleeping uncomfortably flat my back.

On the plus side, I have enough pain killers to numb a small water buffalo.

But more importantly when history looks back on this scholars and historians will remember this: I made my two points.

Count it!