Ponder is going to bring it home this weekend

Christian Ponder was pretty awful for a two-month stretch this year, but with 4 games left, the Vikes had to run the table.  At that moment, a funny thing happened. While Adrian Peterson continued going absolutely nuts against opposing defenses and Minnesota’s defense continued to step up their game, Christian Ponder got better. How much better? ESPN.com blogger Kevin Seifert puts it into perspective.

But after a disastrous Week 13 performance against the Packers, Ponder quietly turned himself around and had the NFL’s second-best QBR (86.8) over the final four games of the season, trailing only Peyton Manning. Over the second half of the season, Ponder’s QBR on third down — measuring not only passes but also his scrambles — was the league’s second best.

Yep, second best QB after Peyton Manning. I’ll take that.

Capturing a Photo Every 30 Seconds

I hang out with some pretty cool people at work.  And, i’ve got some great people to go home to too. I capture a lot of moments on Instagram (which i love) and have lately been trying out Snapjoy (Boulder company) and Picturelife as possible places to replace my Flickr as my online photo storage.

Recently though, I’ve come to the realization that it’s not enough. I want to capture more photos and more of my life. Lots of cool stuff is happening every day, both at work and at home that are just passing by.  I want to capture those too. So, you can imagine my happiness when i discovered a little gadget called Memoto.  What is it? It’s a little square that’ll snap a photo of wherever you are and whatever you’re doing every 30 seconds.  This is a 5 MP camera in a tiny little device.  That’s 4 GB of photos i’ll be capturing every day.  Now we’re talking.

Here’s a little video of the device:

I backed the project on Kickstarter so i don’t actually have the device yet.

One other things i’ve been using lately: Strava.  This used to be an app that tracks the crap out of your bike rides.  But, they’ve now added running tracking in there.  Before i stumbled upon Strava, I tested out RunKepper and MapMyRun and liked Runkeeper the best of those two, but after using Strava just a few times, i can tell that it’s better than both of them.

The REAL tech meetups in Boulder

This morning I took a ride up Sunshine Canyon in Boulder.  We stopped half way up and we looked around and took a little poll about who was on the trip.  We had 4 Techstars companies represented (Orbotix, Kapost, Everlater, and PivotDesk), one VC (Hwy12), and one Techstars mentor (Jamie).  

While biking 6 miles straight up, and in between deep breaths, we talked about building product faster to meet demand (Dave from PivotDesk), growing revenue (Mark from Hwy12), and how to correctly build a financial model for a an early stage company (Nate and Natty from Everlater).  If you’re wondering how work in Boulder happens or how the tech community interacts, I’d say this was a pretty perfect example.  

Oh, and the views aren’t bad either….

You can see the damage from the fire from 2 years ago still: 
 

5 Reasons Why I Loved the BoulderBoulder

I ran the Boulder 10k this weekend, called the BoulderBoulder, with my sister and Diane and it was just a fantastic time.  I’ve run a few races in my day and they are all pretty similar, but some things that make the BoulderBoulder a unique running experience.

#5 The costumes.  Lots of people dress up and they look fantastic.  We’re talking tigers, bears, superheros and belly dancers.  The spirit is infectious and i’m already thinking of my costume for next year.

Continue reading “5 Reasons Why I Loved the BoulderBoulder”

Best SuperBowl Commercial Not Playing in the SuperBowl

This is a Budweiser ad created for Canada to play during the SuperBowl, but only in Canada. I’m not sure why it’s on there, but it’s one of my favorite ads i’ve seen in a while.  I love it.

It’s a recreational hockey game where Budweiser organizes a flash mod to surprise the players.  It’s pretty great:

Some things i’m changing in 2012

With the new year, i’m going to try to do some more things.  Here’s what i have in mind: 

Read More.
 I hit a reading rut in 2011 where i went a few months without finishing a book. This was for good reasons (i was pretty busy doing actual work), but I want to get back to reading a book a month. I’m already on a good path as i’m busting out Ebert’s memoir and also Lean Startup and i’m really enjoying both. 

Exercise More. I used to exercise every day and lately i’ve been finding myself at only 2 or 3 times a week.  I want to give crossfit a go and stay at 4 times a week for the entire year.  Some other goals are: biking to and from Boulder from Denver twice a month in the summer.  And, possibly, doing a triathlon if I can get back in the pool.  

Eating Better.   I still have horrible eating habits.  I eat portions way too large and i eat stuff that’s just not good for me (ahem, Domino’s pizza).  I haven’t been able to do smaller portions.  I think cooking will help this (see next).  

Cook More.  My goal is to cook at least once a month in 2012 (twelve times total).  I had the same goal in 2011 and failed miserably with only about 4 or 5 cooking attempts.  I’m looking forward to Liz’s blog (one that is going to tell me exactly what to make) helping me out here.  Hopefully I’ll be a master chef by the end of the year. 

These are my lifestyle goals for 2012.  You have any you’re doing that i’m missing? 


Looking back at 2011

Some things i’ll remember about 2011:

Steve Jobs’ Death & Legacy. As Esquire says…

No one ever died the way Steve Jobs died. Other people have died of cancer. Other people have died in the public eye.  But no one has ever died with the inexorable logic of their mortality feeding into a logic of expectation that they themselves created and aroused.

Reading about Steve Jobs in 2011 was a terrific experience.  He inspired me to take my passion in products to the next level.  He was truly a special individual and will be missed.

Mavericks vs. Heat. The stage was set: a team of underdogs who lost to the Heat in 2006 vs. a team of selfish divas. Down 2-1 and nearly 3-1, the scappy Mavs fought back and took the title in the most exciting NBA Finals I’ve ever seen. Continue reading “Looking back at 2011”

Moneyball and Big Data

I just had an interesting breakfast with Tom Higley which i try to do once a month but ends up being about every other.  He sat down this morning and said, have you seen the movie “Moneyball” and then we got into a very interesting talk about what that film means in today’s world.  Here’s a few thoughts we had.

Aaron Sorkin can take any story and make it interesting.  He took a horrible book about Facebook (Accidental Millionaires) and wrote a fantastic and Oscar-winning script for The Social Network, and here he took a stats-filled non-fiction book about baseball and made an interesting movie.
The story of the Oakland A’s is not as simple as it was told.  They did not just find high on-base percentage players and ride that to a successful season.  No sir.  One thing that always beats good hitting is good pitching and there’s no mention of pitching in this entire movie. Why? Because it didn’t fit the narrative. Was their staff good? Hell, yes. The had a trio called “The Big Three” of Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder.  Zito was their ace.  He went 23-5 and won the Cy Young award that year.   Mulder won 19 games, and Hudson led the league in shutouts.  That seems pretty relevant to me – you might want to mention it. Continue reading “Moneyball and Big Data”

I love it when sports matter

When there’s something serious on the line, that’s when players try their hardest – and THAT is definitely the best time to be watching sports.  

You see it in the NBA playoffs, in March Madness and you’re seeting it now in the last few games of the MLB season.  Two teams – the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Rays – are battling for the wild card spot.  Last night, they were tied with 2 games left.  They both won by 1 run last night to keep it tied with 1 final game left.   Both those games were tight with tension.  Both teams lettign it all hang out.  Let me share some things that happened last night (posted here in ESPN): 

So, all of this happened on Tuesday in two games in the American League, where all that’s at stake is a playoff spot, one team trying to avoid a colossal collapse, the other team trying to prove that small-market franchises can slay the wealthy dragon, maybe an MVP award, and the pain and suffering of an entire Nation:

  • A triple play. It may end up as the most important triple play in major league history.
  • A rookie catcher, in the biggest game of the season, making his first career start behind the plate in the majors.
  • That catcher — Boston’s Ryan Lavarnway, only the third Yale player drafted since 1965 to reach the big leagues — throwing out a baserunner trying to steal third base and then hitting a three-run home run, the first of his career. And then hitting his second career home run.
  • An intentional walk … to bring Alex Rodriguez to the plate.
  • The Red Sox hitting a guy cleanup who has never started in the cleanup position before.
  • Nick Swisher doubling off the center-field wall, but Mark Teixeira not scoring from second base on the play.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury showing why he may be the AL’s Most Valuable Player with another clutch home run.
  • Adam Jones, fouling off pitch after pitch from Jonathan Papelbon with the tying run at second base in the bottom of the ninth, Orioles fans standing like they had a playoff berth on the line.
  • Matt Joyce, Matt Joyce, Matt Joyce. You made Tampa Bay fans very happy.

Like i said, I love it when sports matter.  These things happen. 
 


Yes, I’m excited for the Timberwolves

I’m a big NBA fan.  Each year i get excited to see how the MN Timberwolves do and i’m especially excited this year.

The only way to become great in the NBA is through the draft.  It’s the only way to get the true superstar and you need the true superstar to win a championship.  You have no idea when you draft Dwanye Wade or Kobe Bryant if they are going to be All-NBA or out of the league in 5 years.  Some players fizzle, some grow to superstardom – you never know.  But one thing you do know is that if a player becomes an elite player, the Timberwolves will NEVER get them unless they already had them.

This year i’m especially excited because we have two new rookies that could be the next players that set the league on fire.  They are Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams.

Both were drafted high (Rubio at 5, Williams at 2) and both were touted to be one of the best in their class.  How they will actually perform, nobody knows.  But i’m pretty frickin’ pumped to see Rubio leading fast breaks with Williams and Wes Johnson on one wing and Kevin Love trailing for 3’s and rebounds.

Check out this video. Just a few years ago people were talking about Greg Oden as one of of the best draft picks in recent memory.  The number two pick – Kevin Durant – was considered risky.  Well, here’s a video of him taken yesterday when he went absolutely insane.  I’m hoping some of that similar draft luck comes to the T-Wolves.