Saturday, 19 May 2018

Social Media Day Off

There are many people breaking free from social media sites for a variety of reasons. Facebook has its many problems that have recently been exposed. Twitter can often be a rather bleak place due to a number of factors. And, for a number of people, all social media just eats up time that people are now using towards other things. The last reason is my reason for going social media-free for at least one day per week, and I have to say that it's actually pretty incredible how much I haven't missed it on days where I put my phone down and forget about it. For as being as digital as I am, going old-school has been nothing short of tech vacation that I'm finding I was missing.

A few people who I've told about this plan have expressed some worry about not carrying a phone for obvious reasons. If there is an emergency, what would I do? If one of my friends or family members has an emergency, how would he or she reach me? What if there's an important phone call that I miss?

All of these are valid reasons not to carry my phone, so I have made a couple of adjustments to my pledge of having a social media-free day. I will carry my phone, but I will not look at it unless a phone call is coming in or I need to make a phone call. There are no exceptions to this rule - no social media, emails, texts, etc. My smartphone becomes simply a telephone on days where I step away.

Instead, today was a day of work around HBIC Headquarters. I planted both my vegetable and flower gardens. I applied more sand to my interlocking sidewalk and parking area, and it looks amazing! I moved the lawn, I pulled weeds, and I barbecued on a gorgeous, sunny day. In other words, I used my day productively while ignoring the buzzing of my phone!

In what might be more of a surprise, I actually feel way more happy and accomplished than when I'm a slave to my phone. I haven't made this public, but I've been doing this now for a few months. It's actually a huge relief and a sense of freedom that I've never felt before. Yes, those are first-world problems that I shouldn't be exalting, but less time on social media means more time for important things. And apparently it's not just me who feels this freedom.

I realize that as a blogger and a radio host that I can't entirely walk away from social media. I use it for networking and booking interviews, so it plays a vital role in my hobbies that I simply can't abandon. I'll still use it and I'll still be active on it, but I'm finding out as I get older that the adage of "less is more" holds true to hundreds, if not thousands, of things in life - social media included.

Please don't think this is a plea or cry fro help to ask you to do the same. It's not, and I'd never ask that of anyone. To each their own, and your usage and activities on them are yours and yours alone. Do what makes you happy, and if that requires any number of social media interactions, have at it.

In the end, I'll be doing less social media interaction, specifically on the weekends. As I sat watching sports highlights into this evening, it occurred to me that I missed Canada lose to Switzerland, the US lose to Sweden, the Capitals lose to Tampa Bay, and a number of other sports results. It also occurred to me that I didn't miss the commentary and hyperbolic outrage and severely-dramatic reactions to any of this found on social media.

For an entire Saturday, I felt free of all of that nonsense, and I pledged I'll do it again next weekend.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Friday, 18 May 2018

IIHF Brings The Technology

It's always impressive to me when sports introduces new technology that could potentially change how the game is played and broadcast. Soccer has been using GPS tracking to show how fast players run, their field coverage, and, with the assistance of tracking chips, their fitness levels and heart rates during the game. It's rather amazing to see these statistics tracked and posted in real-time, and it seems that the IIHF is getting in on the technology wave as they introduced new technology at this year's IIHF World Championships in Denmark!

Now the video that the IIHF posted between Latvia and Sweden offers no audio, so it's a little difficult to pick up exactly what is being tracked at any point in the video below. According to the IIHF, though, they're measuring "puck speed, player position, shots on goal," and any other relevant stat they can pull off the video. Watch below as Sweden spends a lot of time in Latvia's zone.

Again, it's hard to actually see any of these stats in action when there isn't a screen showing you what is being tracked. I like that there's a potential for isolation so one can see one player's immediate statistics, but there needs to be some more elaboration to see exactly what is being tracked. Nevertheless, this new technology could potentially give coaches and management new tools that they can use to improve systems and the play of their teams on the ice.

They tagged this video with "The future is coming", but it looks a lot closer than they make it sound. If soccer is doing it, hockey may not be far behind. While hockey is far more violent in terms of physical play compared to soccer, the idea of tracking players on the ice is one that people have been manually doing for a while. Having chips and GPS units tracking this rather than players with pens and paper will certainly move the game forward.

How long does it take for the NHL to adopt this? I would say it might be part of the on-ice technology within a few years if it works at the IIHF level!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The Hockey Show - Episode 295

The Hockey Show, Canada's only campus-produced radio show that strictly talks hockey, is back with four more exit interviews from Survivor: NHL Playoffs tonight! Honestly, these should be good ones as Teebz and Beans close out Round Two with Nashville and Ryan, San Jose and Jeff, Boston and Jared, and Pittsburgh and Tom all being evicted from the island tonight! Let's get this rolling!

Here are the remaining entrants in Survivor: NHL Playoffs brought to you by Lays and their Show Your Emotions contest!

After we dismiss Ryan, Jeff, Jared, and Tom from Survivor: NHL Playoffs, we'll chat about McDavid and Team Canada against Russia in the World Championships, more notable player movement from across the globe, Team Manitoba women winning the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship for the second consecutive year, the loss of Clare Drake, the Steinbach Pistons at the RBC Cup, and the longest game in AHL history. If we're lucky, we might even get a special guest on the phone for an update from the RBC Cup because we have correspondents everywhere! Ok, not really, but we'll try to get an update on how the Pistons are doing from someone who is there cheering them on! It's another busy edition of The Hockey Show, so make sure you tune in at 5:30pm CT!

How can I tune in, you ask? The easiest way is for you to download the UMFM app on your phone or tablet. It's literally the easiest and most convenient way to listen to any of UMFM's great shows any time of the day, so go get it! Just follow this link on your iDevice or this link for your Android device and get the UMFM app! It's never been easier to tune into The Hockey Show or UMFM! Download the UMFM app today, and don't miss any of our great programming or shows! Of course, you can do the radio thing at 101.5 on the FM dial and you can always listen online via the UMFM website!

If you prefer social media, we try to remain up-to-speed there as well! Email all show questions and comments to hockeyshow@umfm.com! Tweet me anytime with questions you may have by hitting me up at @TeebzHBIC on Twitter. You can also post some stuff to Facebook if you use the "Like" feature, and I always have crazy stuff posted there that doesn't make it to the blog or show.

Tonight, Teebz and Beans eliminate four more contestants, chat about a number of tournaments, discuss a pile of hockey things, and much more only on The Hockey Show found exclusively on 101.5 UMFM, on the UMFM app, on the UMFM.com web stream!

PODCAST: May 17, 2018: Episode 295

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Mariners Of Maine

This is just going to be a quick addition since I'm off to umpire again tonight. Above is the logo for the newest ECHL team in Portland, Maine. They are the Mariners of Maine. Yes, like the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, we have another "of" name. Personally, that just seems so minor-league, but that's my opinion.

The ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers will begin play this fall, so it's time to ask the obvious question regarding any new team: do you like the name and logo?

My take? The logo is fine. The name is awful. Maine Mariners? Ok, no real problem despite it being Seattle's baseball team's name. But this "Mariners of Maine" stuff is downright terrible.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

Monday, 14 May 2018

Being A Fan Is Costly

I've been asked by a few out-of-town friends if I am planning on going to see the Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights play at BellMTS Place. I will tell you right now: that's a big negative. I spent some time on Friday trying to see if I could find tickets that won't prompt to take a second mortgage, but it's proving difficult thanks to the pricing that the Jets have set for this third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. To be honest, I'd need the salary of a Winnipeg Jet to see the Jets play.

Tickets for this round of play at BellMTS Place start in the 300-level at $257 plus fees and taxes. Conservative estimates would put that cost around $300 for nosebleed tickets at the rink. If I wanted to hang out with Cassie Campbell-Pascale and Scott Oake on the 100-level, those tickets are priced at $730 plus fees and taxes. Again, let's just call it $800.

In other words, it ain't cheap to see the Jets at home. That's when a few people in my social circle said, "What about Vegas?"

Allegiant Air, as seen in the lede photo, added a Wednesday afternoon flight from Grand Forks International Airport to the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas with a return on Saturday. Domestic flights in the US are usually far cheaper than flying from Canada across the border, so it was worth the gamble to see if this added flight would be more economical than buying tickets at home. According to Allegiant's website, the cost for booking this flight?

$660 per seat. To start. OUCH.

Ok, so maybe there isn't any way to see the Jets without paying a ton of dough in this third round. I guess the $300 for the upper-deck tickets might be the most economical choice if one wants to watch the game live and in-person.

For now, I'm fairly happy watching the game from my couch with cold beverages in the fridge, good food nearby, no line-ups for the bathroom, and, if needed, a change of clothes in case there are nachos or other food spilled. I'm not complaining about the accommodations since the mortgage payment I'd need to spend on a ticket can actually be spent on my mortgage!

While season ticket holders spend far less than what the walk-up crowd does, True North Sports and Entertainment is clearly making truckloads of money in these playoffs! Go Jets Go!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!