More updates to come…
We did it!! We made it to Disney World, and it was a great all around week. We spent five very full days at WDW. We also added a trip to the Clearwater Marina so Col could see Winter and Hope in person.
As soon as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith was over, I asked if I could go again. I had to. I also learned on this trip that a rollercoaster is even better than coffee for getting your day started. As for the early returns based on our talks on the plane ride home, it sounds like there will be another trip, since all the conversations started “Next time we come to Disney…”
According to the NY Times, Strat-o-matic is rolling out a new digital version called Strat-O-Matic Baseball Daily. Players stats and team information will be updated daily. If this idea existed back in my day, I would know far less about Harmon Killebrew’s new Minnesota Twins franchise. Those were well-worn cards that had been passed though most of my father’s family until I was able to get my hands on them.
Last thing I need to add to my summer fantasy baseball / MLB.TV habit is playing daily Strat-o-matic, so right now I’m, hoping that it costs too much.
My plan for 2016 focuses on moving my career by building out my skills. My experience working with large media properties, like AOL, IMG, Lycos and SuperBowl.com, has provided me the foundation of leading the product development team, but now I want to veer back to those days where I got my hands dirty and then built solutions on top of that.
The first step on the path toward moving into the data storytelling world is locking down the big picture. As of this week, I have completed Tackling the Challenges of Big Data, an MIT Professional Educational course. And for this I received a certificate. 🙂
It was a great combination of topics, some that I could get thru easily thanks to past work experience, like visualization (Maxus) and machine learning (AOL / Hakia), and then the more technical aspects which made me buckle down to learn, like database architecture and cryptology. I never had to deal with these directly, but now feel more comfortable knowing how they all fit together.
I’ll add updated posts here as I move more toward this goal where I can work side-by-side with the advanced data scientists and turn their findings into new products and user experiences. This does not have to be on-line, as it would be great to expand opportunities by using data to uncover and predict more everyday activities. We are doing this somewhat at VitalBriefing today; however, the scale is much smaller than the 20 million page views from the AOL days, which even at 20M can still seem small to some of the IoT projects going on today.
Up next: I’ve had a good start with the data architect project at Maxus, but next up is to learn more about the tools, including visualization tools like Tableau which I used at Maxus, but it evolves so fast that you have to stay ahead, and Python which I want to use to crunch my own numbers.
It’s the annual New Year Pizza. This year I was able to sneak pepperoni on it, and folk lore says that means a great year ahead.
Each year I seem to be that last one left holding the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open trophy. This year my game must be improving because I have my hands on The President’s Cup. Us and them — I mean the U.S. and the World Team will be playing to get their hands on this in South Korea in October, but on this day it mine.
Let’s not forget the one time I actually was able to attend a practice round at the 2005 President’s Cup which was near our then-home in Virginia.
Since we had been on the road for two weeks, I had not had my baseball night out in while, so this was huge for me. We didn’t even get to the game until the 5th inning, but the for few innings we saw, it was great.
In the game, the Bourne Braves beat the visiting Brewster Whitecaps 6-4.
The weather may have been very wet on Saturday, but we made it into Washington, DC, to celebrate our daughter’s birthday by touring the White House. The president was in Los Angeles for the weekend, but we didn’t let that damper our enthusiasm either.
Overall the tour isn’t very long, and the tour confirmation note described the tour as being a self-guided, 45-minute tour, but it is what you make of it. Our daughter managed to befriend one of the secret service people on the tour route who allowed us inside the East Room tour ropes and gave us a special up-close view of the George Washington’s official portrait — Did you know it misspells “United States of America” on a book spine?
Some more pictures are posted at Flickr, they show a timeline that starts with smiles, but soon fatigue sets in when we get to the National Mall.
The biggest struggle of the tour, as we live in this social media world, is the need for restraint as phones and cameras are not allow. There are very clear signs for no photography or social media allowed, so you can’t do any selfie check-ins from Blue Room.
The great blog secret has now come to end; my project in NYC that started in mid-May is now over. It made for a complicated 7+ months where I would usually leave home on a 6am bus early Monday and the get back on Friday evening. It included becoming an AirBNB power user — if only they had a loyalty program, or even gave a crap about their customers (probably more on them in a later post).
Sometime next spring and summer and fall and Christmas, I’ll probably think back and wonder what I did last year, and it will hit me that I was somewhere else. The toughest stretch for us was back in June/July when we left for a family trip to Maine on June 23. My next time home was for 2 days over the weekend of July 11, and then I left Monday July 14 to return back 3 weeks later on Aug 1. That’s 2 days home over 6 weeks.
After leaving the family in Maine, where they stayed for a couple more weeks, we all met again at a friend’s in Connecticut on July 18. After a weekend there, we all drove into Brooklyn where I had rented an apartment for the week, again via AirBNB.
What was I doing in NY? Building data platforms at a media buying agency. It was a great getting back to a agency environment where the clients had real budgets to spend; it was a big jump from the last local web agency I worked at where we held photo shoots in a storage container. Why in sexy storage containers? Because it was a storage container company.
I came through on my prediction from earlier this week — when the week is over I will be holding the winner’s trophy for the 2014 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Players on the Champions Tour usually are not so brash, but I’m no player — just they guy that carries the trophy from the ceremony on the green back to the press room.