Archive for the ‘university of missouri’ Tag

Paying For Content   Leave a comment

Mizzou LogoIt’s happening again.

Just about everyone has been impacted by now with the wars that have developed between those that own content, those that deliver content, and those that receive content.

My latest problem is with the video coverage of my beloved Missouri Tigers.

This weekend, CBS (which has the rights to the their # 1 selected SEC game every weekend, and their # 2 game on their selected weekends) is passing on the # 14 ranked Tigers hosting the # 22 ranked Florida Gators. Mizzou is the top team in the SEC East, but that didn’t matter to the CBS game pickers.

ESPN has the rights to the next 3 SEC games, and they also passed on the MIzzou game. The result? I wasn’t sure if I would be able to watch the game or not.

Good news, though: the fledgling SEC network is syndicating the game to 300+ TV stations across the country (no national network picked up the game). I finally found a list of those stations, and it is here. For me, I have to watch the game on channel 56, KDOC-TV out of Anaheim. It’s a station once known for professional wrestling and roller derby. Now, it’s a sports station airing football games that CBS and ESPN don’t want.

Thank goodness.

I’m not a victim: I get to watch the game I want to watch. There’s a lot of people that won’t be so fortunate. They may have to watch CBS’s twin pick of the week: # 15 Georgia (that Mizzou just beat) at the unranked Vanderbilt, and # 24 Auburn at # 7 Texas A&M. I believe both of those games will be totally uninteresting. I’ve run around the football field at Vanderbilt … but couldn’t care less about those 2 football games.

And here’s news for you: if you are a cable subscriber … or a satellite subscriber … then you are paying to have those CBS games delivered to your home. The ESPN games, too, if you get ESPN. You see, ALL cable subscribers pay, whether they watch football or not. That’s how our system works.

How much are you paying? Those fees are negotiated with each cable system owner, but ESPN’s fees average $4.69 per month. That’s what you pay whether you watch sports or not. The CBS fees are more difficult to figure out, as they include all of the CBS affiliated networks, such as Showtime.

I don’t know how much my Dish Network pays KDOC, but I’m glad they do!

David Byrne, 2006

David Byrne, 2006

On another front, today I read an interview with Talking Head’s David Byrne (the voice of the 80s signature hits, “Once in a Lifetime” and “Burning Down the House”). He made the somewhat provocative statement that paying for music content the way we pay for cable content will “suck all creative content out of the world.” The link’s below. Mr. Byrne feels that if we do generic licenses for music, such as we do with Pandora and Spotify, then artists will get the short end of the stick. Record labels will suck up a large portion … and artists starve.

As Mr. Byrne pointed out,

“Even Wagner was always in debt and slept with rich women to get funding – so nothing’s new, right?”

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Paying For Music

RockMNation: Watching The Florida vs. Missouri Game….

AL.com: Why CBS Passed On SEC East Leader Missouri And Its Pivotal Games

TheGuardian: David Byrne: ‘The internet will suck all creative content out of the world

SportsGrid: How ESPN Is Making Your Cable Bill More And More Expensive

 

Hysteria, Sweet Hysteria   1 comment

October 12, 1974 is when I first experienced mass hysteria.

I never saw it coming. Though I had been warned to look out for those ‘Huskers. I was told they might steal my hat.

In 1974, here’s what they looked like:

Herbie Husker

Herbie Husker

If you know me at all, you know this image offends me deeply. The idea that it was viewed as both a positive and literally iconic look for an entire state just astonishes me. But I digress.

I was a freshman at the University of Missouri and a proud member of Marching Mizzou. I played the timbales, which means I was not one of the 16 best percussionists in the band.

Really. There was an audition.

So, as percussionist # 17, I played the timbales. Marching Mizzou was taking a road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, where our mediocre football team would be playing the 5th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers.

76,525 fans and me. And if you’ve ever seen the stadium at Lincoln, you know it’s an emotion-filled place. It rocks in support of Nebraska’s favorite football team. A sea of red confronts every team:

Mizzou - Stadium

The home of the Huskers since 1923 and the location of a continuing NCAA-record consecutive sellout streak that reached 325 games in 2012, Memorial Stadium provides one of the most exciting game-day experiences in all of college football. The streak of consecutive sellouts started on Nov. 3, 1962, when 36,501 attended the Homecoming contest against Missouri.

It was in this environment that the Missouri Tigers and Marching Mizzou found themselves. Back in the day, the Tigers were known as being very inconsistent on the field … and giant killers when they could get it together. They lost spectacularly, and occasionally won spectacularly.

Mizzou 74 logo Mizzou 74 - N ebraska

This game turned into a defensive battle. After 3 quarters, Nebraska led  0 – 3.

And then at the beginning of the fourth, Nebraska scored to lead 0 – 10.

And then it just broke loose.

Mizzou scored: 7 – 10.

And then there came the moment that this post is really about.

Hysteria, Sweet Hysteria.

The band was seated on the field, behind the endzone. Because I played that big kit of timbales, I had to sit at the bottom of the bleachers, out of the way of everyone. Worst. Seat. In. The. Stadium.

Suddenly, everyone was screaming. Everyone was jumping up and down. Jubilation! Hysteria! WAHOO!!!

What happened? I had no idea.

Video screens were a future dream, nothing more. All I could see was a bunch of black & gold music nerds jumping up and down, screaming. And they were surrounded by 70,000 red-clad fans. Screaming.

So what did I do? I jumped up and down and screamed, of course. You’ve got to go along to get along.

Mizzou scored: 14 – 10.

And Mizzou scored again: 21-10. 21 unanswered points, all scored in the 4th quarter to win. Game over.

It was exhausting. It was incredible. It was truly unbelievable.

It was real.

Marching Mizzou exited Memorial Stadium (yes, I protected my hat) and loaded up into the 8 Greyhound buses that brought us to Lincoln that day. We had a long ride home.

But we did stop at a tiny roadside liquor store for the band to acquire, uh, refreshments. I’m pretty sure that the liquor store’s cashiers got to enjoy a different kind of hysteria as they were invaded by 300+ Tigers that day.

Today, 39 years later, the Tigers are again playing the 5th-ranked team in the land, but this time it’s the Georgia Bulldogs.

Go get’em Tigers! M-I-Z…

Behind A Tin Wall   1 comment

The University of Missouri – Columbia’s Journalism School has selected prize-winning photographs since 1944. That event eventually evolved into Photos of the Year International, which has thousands of entries and hundreds of photographs receiving recognition in a dizzying array of categories.

The image below won the First Place award in the Reportage Division, News Picture Story – Freelance/Agency in the 70th annual competition. The link to the POYi website is below; you can browse through the gallery of images that ranges from the Olympics to Environmental Awareness to all too many pictures of war.

The mission of POYi is to promote and extend the reach of documentary photographers by engaging citizens with documentary photography. POYi is a non-profit, academic program dedicated to journalism education and professional development.

POYi First Place - NEWS PICTURE STORY (Javier Manzano/Agence France-Presse) Two rebel soldiers stand guard in the Karmel Jabl neighborhood of Aleppo as more than a dozen holes made by bullets and shrapnel pepper the tin wall behind them. The dust from more than one hundred days of shelling, bombing and firefights hung thick in the air around them as they took turns guarding their machine-gun nests. Both sides (the Free Syria Army and the regime) rely heavily on snipers - the cat and mouse game of Aleppo's front lines. The Karmel Jabl and Al-Arqoob neighborhoods are strategically important because of their proximity to the main road that separates several of the main battlegrounds in the city from one of the largest rebel-controlled regions in Aleppo. It is widely believed that if the regime ordered its infantry (most of it is largely composed of Sunni Muslims) to charge the rebels, a large number of the soldiers would defect to the opposition. For this reason, face-to-face combat is rare. Instead, the regime relies mostly on tanks, indirect fire (mortars and artillery), airplanes and snipers. Snipers can hold a line of several streets and can take weeks for the rebels to locate and neutralize.

POYi First Place – NEWS PICTURE STORY (Javier Manzano/Agence France-Presse) Two rebel soldiers stand guard in the Karmel Jabl neighborhood of Aleppo as more than a dozen holes made by bullets and shrapnel pepper the tin wall behind them. The dust from more than one hundred days of shelling, bombing and firefights hung thick in the air around them as they took turns guarding their machine-gun nests. Both sides (the Free Syria Army and the regime) rely heavily on snipers – the cat and mouse game of Aleppo’s front lines. The Karmel Jabl and Al-Arqoob neighborhoods are strategically important because of their proximity to the main road that separates several of the main battlegrounds in the city from one of the largest rebel-controlled regions in Aleppo. It is widely believed that if the regime ordered its infantry (most of it is largely composed of Sunni Muslims) to charge the rebels, a large number of the soldiers would defect to the opposition. For this reason, face-to-face combat is rare. Instead, the regime relies mostly on tanks, indirect fire (mortars and artillery), airplanes and snipers. Snipers can hold a line of several streets and can take weeks for the rebels to locate and neutralize.

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Pictures of the Year International

 

June 13, 1975   4 comments

Love At First Sight - TargetIt was an incredible gift.  The greatest gift.  And most people don’t even believe in it.  But they want to.

I believe.

I proposed to Velda on our first date.  It was love at first sight.  Well, not quite first sight … but this is our story.

It was 1974.  I had resolved to go to the best college I could imagine attending.  For this dirt-poor boy, that was the University of Missouri.  I won scholarships, applied for financial aid, got part-time jobs … and stitched together the money to make it work.  That was the deal I had with my folks: if I could pay for it, I could go.

When I was one of two in the nation that won the $500 annual scholarship from Dad’s employer, Skelly Oil Company, I knew I could pay tuition and it would all work (yes, $500 was all it took for my annual tuition).

Come August 1974, it was off to Columbia, MO to discover what life had in store for me.

My eyes were opened in amazing ways.  My first roommate only lasted a week, then he moved out to become a dorm Resident Assistant.  My next roommate … well, let’s just say this Eagle Scout wasn’t cut from the same cloth as that idiot. I moved across campus at the semester break to Hudson Hall, and that proved to be a very, very good move.

I had graduated from Nodaway-Holt High School, in a class of 36.  Of those 36, 4 went to Mizzou.  All were my good friends, of course, and one of those was Janie, who lived across the street in Schurz Hall.  Her roommate was Charity, and Charity had a friend named Velda.

With me so far?

Not sure when I first met Velda, but it was probably February of ’75.  She was a friend of a friend of a friend, and I paid her no mind.  I was a theatre major and she was, uh, different.  She came from the big city, and I’d never even been to the big city. I remember her giving me advice on how to cut my hair (which I disregarded).  She was in the same big chemistry class that I was, but it was a big lecture with 400+.  That class was a dog fight to get grades, because it was the class required for anyone in the bio sciences: pre-med, bio, PT, nursing … all of high school’s “A” students were in that class.  Me, I was the theater major in the honors lab just trying to survive.  Velda, she was in a different lab and a totally different place.  Again, no connection there.

There was a mixer (AKA dancing to a DJ before that was the least bit cool) at Hudson Hall one night, and I was there.  Velda was there with a bunch of people.  That night we didn’t talk at all that I recall, but we did have one dance.  It was the 70s: we danced to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic “Free Bird.”  It was electric.  Please, allow me to repeat that.  Electric.  One dance … and that was that.

Done.

We still weren’t a couple, but I’d never felt anything like that before … or since.

The end of the semester came and we were freshmen no more.  I had resolved to return for summer school, as had Velda, come to find out.  I was living in a campus dorm; she was in the more expensive private dorm. Neither of us knew anyone else that was at summer school. That first week, I called to ask her out (the first time I had ever called her), and Friday night was our first date.

June 13, 1975.

Instant connection.  Instant communication. Instant.

I proposed that night. And she said YES!

We were 18 years old. I was 3 years from graduation, working 2 jobs to pay my bills.  A ring wouldn’t happen for another year, and it was not that impressive.

But Velda was.  And is.

Love at first sight.  I believe.

More

WriteMeg! On HER Love At First Sight

Making Snap Romantic Decisions In The Medial Prefontal Cortex

Kylie Minogue’s “Love At First Sight”

Sobbing On An Airplane   4 comments

XL, A NovelI have no clue where to start, and only a vague idea of where I’ll stop.  Settle in, kids, this one may be rough.

First, I’ll blame Michael.  He got me interested in Bruins Nation, a sports blog for the UCLA Bruins, which is where he gets his Bruins sports trivia.  I subscribed to their RSS feed (I’m not cool enough for a twitter feed), and that got me to thinking … how about my alma mater?  Surely there is a sports blog dedicated to the University of Missouri?  My Tigers???

Mizzou LogoIndeed there is: Rock M Nation.  I began to read, and I am now awash in sports trivia for the two colleges’ teams I follow: Mizzou, where I went to school, and UCLA, where my money went.

One post on Rock M Nation pointed me towards a novel that was set at Mizzou.  It’s written by Michael Atchison, an alum that knows the guys at Rock M … come to find out, he’s a sports journalist who wrote a novel about music.  And growing up.  And being disappointed.  In Missouri.

I’m in.  There’s an excerpt you can read, here.

Meanwhile, back at the computer, I decided to upgrade my music consumption with one of those new fangled iPod thingies.  The lovely Velda gave me one for Christmas.  Perfect!  I had a business trip coming up in January to northern Iowa (the high was 11* while I was there), so I could use the iPod on the trip.

I proceeded to rip the soundtrack of my life.

I believe in purchasing music, by the way.  I have CDs and more CDs.  I do not steal music.  Haven’t purchased digital downloads, as I 1) had no place to put them and 2) I don’t like their inferior audio quality.

I’m an audio snob.  Get over it.

So I made digital copies of music from Carly Simon, Jethro Tull, Tom Russell, Bread, Eastmountainsouth, Chicago, The Beatles, The Stones, Michael Jackson, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Madonna, Hank Williams, Orleans, Martina McBride, Rosie Flores, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Church, Nikka Costa, Pure Prairie League, Clint Black, Nicolette Larson, The Wailin’ Jennys, Frank Sinatra, Wylie & The Wild West, Barbra Streisand, Led Zeppelin, Zac Brown Band, James Taylor, Danni Leigh, Amy Grant and Lady Antebellum. To name a few.  I got on the plane with 11,000 songs.  It was heaven.

My iPod, my noise cancellation headphones, and my kindle.  Three illegal items when the plane is taking off or landing, but, oh, when we were soaring … I was soaring.

I pulled up my nascent playlists.  Funk.  Mellow.  Western. Hits.  ’70s.  Country Stars.  Yum.

I had not had this level of aural control of my environment since I stopped regularly visiting my woodshop … where I have a great CD changer + sound system set up (OK, OK, my garage.  But it IS my woodshop.).  Unfortunately, my last woodworking projects were last spring, and life took some different turns since then.  All good … but I now had my music back, and it was wonderful.

On my way to Iowa, I finished my Poul Anderson series of 7 novels that collected the eon-spanning story that went from the Psychotechnic League to Domininc Landry into the Long Night that followed.  Great space opera, classic, award-winning science fiction, but I struggled a bit to finish it.  The series has been compared to the James Bond series (Ian Fleming introduced 007 to the world 2 years later).  Same dashing hero, same damsel-in-distress conquests. Good stories, really, but not great literature.  I was glad to be done.

On my trip home, I didn’t know what I wanted to read.  I had about 25 novels on the kindle … and I’d forgotten what XL was about.  I needed a change of pace, though, and this unknown author looked like just the ticket.

The music was a collection of favorites.  I jumped around from mellow to party to western to country.  But every tune, every tune, was a favorite.  It was transcendent.

And then the novel took me back, just as the music was taking me back, to the beginning of my college journey in Columbia, MO.  In 1974, I found a creative release like never before … just as David Hankins did in XL.  He met the love of his life, as did I.  He had his dream yanked from him, as did I.  His story might be more compelling than mine, but with my music in my ears, and his story in my heart, I was having a wonderful, wonderful trip.

And then the book turned sentimental, with a character that believed in David dying, and then using his funeral to give even more support back to David.

I sobbed.  In the plane.  Me.  Sobbed.  In public.

Now, I’m not a walking puddle of emotions like Velda.  Her profound leaking of tears at Christopher and Alley’s wedding became the stuff of legend.  She’s probably still dehydrated, 5 years later.  I am an emotional sort, and I’ve been known to shed a tear now and again.  But in public, in the company of strangers, while reading a book?  Not so much.

Until I played my soundtrack, and read XL, and it was simply pitch perfect.

XL’s about many things, but the engine that drives the book is music.  The author says on his website that there are 209 bands & musicians discussed in the book.  It’s about the music, and Hankins has the music in him.  It’s a great read.

You’ll meet David Hankins as he studies journalism at the University of Missouri.  There were a few landmarks in the book that made me feel at home … but the novel could begin at any college, really.  And when David went into the ’80s Goth underground club scene in Columbia I didn’t know if Atchison was kidding or serious.  I mean … Columbia?  A counter-culture?  Really?  Maybe it was there.  I was so straight in the ’70s, I wouldn’t have known a counter-culture if it hit me in the face … which it did a couple of times, come to think of it.

I finished the book after I returned home, and it did not disappoint.  I wholeheartedly recommend it to you, whether you know Mizzou or not.  In the end, the book is just about a guy, that loves a girl.  They both love their family … and his music.

This is Michael Atchison’s first novel, but I look forward to his next. Hope to see you around the Quad, Michael!

The Columns are all that's left of an Admin building that burnt in 1882, are set in the middle of Francis Quadrangle, AKA the Quad.

The Columns are all that’s left of Academic Hall, which burnt in 1892.  They are set in the middle of Francis Quadrangle, AKA the Quad.

The 2012 Plan   3 comments

My family has completed our 15-year plan this year.  It started in 1997 … and 15 years later, our family of 5 has earned 5 college degrees.

Sonoma State University. The graduation ceremony was on May 12, 2012.

I announced the plan at a family dinner.  Velda had decided to go back to school and get her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in order to become a geriatric Nurse Practitioner.  The kids would have to sacrifice (less of Mom’s cooking is a bad thing in our house).  But Velda’s journey was just the beginning … each of the kids would follow with their own Bachelor’s degree.

It was our plan.  It was our expectation.

It’s also a good idea, by the way … statistics show that college graduates have substantially better incomes than those that stop their education after high school.

I believe the most important reason to get a college education is that it will teach you how to think.  I got my college degree in education; a BS of Education in Speech & Dramatic Art from the University of Missouri.  I only taught professionally for 8 weeks at a private college’s summer camp.  On the other hand, I’ve been in management throughout my career, and I’ve taught many people many things.  Did I use my degree in education?  Absolutely.

I didn’t go to the graduation ceremony, though.  I got married, instead.  That was absolutely the right decision (we had to get married on the 13th of the month, because we’d had far too many “13’s” show up through our courtship to ignore).  I do have some small regrets I didn’t get to enjoy the pomp & circumstance, however.

The lesson?  Everyone follows their own path.  But get on the path!

UCLA College of Engineering graduation, June 12, 2009. The ceremony was in the “old” Pauley Pavillion, and was a long, long event by the time they awarded all of the graduate degrees … and then there were many undergraduates to go!

Velda’s college path was MUCH more circuitous than mine.  She actually attended 7 colleges on her way to her Masters: University of Missouri – Columbia, Valley College, Mission College, LA County USC School of Nursing, College of the Canyons, California State University – Northridge, and UCLA.  She took 25 years to get her degrees, but she got there.

Velda got the two degrees required to be an NP: a BS in Nursing from CSUN, and then an MS in Nursing from UCLA .  Her job satisfaction, and her income, increased substantially after she got her degrees.

Each kid followed their own path to their degree:

Christopher – College of the Canyons, California State University – Los Angeles

Michael – UCLA

Lauren – Sonoma State University

Time will tell how the degrees earned by each of the three kids will serve them, but I am 100% certain that our family is stronger because we set a very big goal, and all 5 of us worked to achieve that goal.  Some goals take some time to accomplish, and this worthy goal took 15 years.

Don’t be afraid of the difficulty of the path.  Be committed to the goal, and you will achieve it.

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