Friday, December 26, 2008
With the Northern Willamette Valley and the Portland Metro area being covered in a brutal snow storm the past few weeks it has kept most residents of the area indoors and that means A LOT of movie watching the past few weeks. We've watched some solid mainstream hits like Iron Man, to some bland comedies like Get Smart. However, Mrs. 11 and I found a real gem this past week that is a MUST watch for any movie buff.
"King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" is a documentary that was released by Picturehouse in early 2007. The story is centered around the classic arcade gaming world and the most difficult classic game, Donkey Kong. Back in the early 1980's a teenager named Billy Mitchell shattered the previous Donkey Kong high score on record and nobody has come close since. Mitchell is a character that even Hollywood could not have conceived. 20 years since his Donkey Kong record performance and he's still the top dog of this geek filled community and by the level of Mitchell's cockiness you would think he is on the level of a movie star.
But Mitchell's record and status gets threatened when a laid-off Boeing worker named Steve Wiebe starts making Kong sized waves in the gaming community. Steve Wiebe is about as likable of a guy you could ever meet. He's a father of two and trying to transition into a science teaching career. He's a talented guy but has never really carved an identity for himself or really been someone who's "made it". Steve's life has been filled with 2nd place finishes and has seemingly has never been able to measure up.
At first I thought there was no way I would be into this film but within the first 5 minutes I was sucked into the trials and tribulations of Steve's journey to respectability and overcoming Billy's constant roadblocks and passive aggressive moves to sidetrack Steve's advances on an "unbreakable" record. Besides Steve and Billy, the film is chalk full of almost unreal charters that worship Billy and support Steve.
Do yourself a favor and swing by your local video store and pick up a copy of King Of Kong. It's a underdog story in a weird and sort of pathetic world of classic arcade gaming.
Also, if you're looking for another off the beaten path flick check out Rocket Science. Nothing like a kid with a stuttering problem trying to make his high school debate team.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
While this is great news for Linfield and its fan base, it also means a brutal travel schedule for the ‘Cats next season. The ‘Cats will open the year at home on September 12th vs Hardin-Simmons, and then have a brutal one-month stretch were the ‘Cats will be at Occidental, at Southern Oregon, at Menlo, and then wrap the extended roadie at Whitworth.
So the ‘Cats open up with two teams coming off playoff qualifying seasons (where they both dropped close games), an NAIA team that have battled the ‘Cats tooth and nail the past three years, visit an improving Menlo program, and then at Whitworth. That’s a hell of a way to start the season and if the ‘Cats want to get back to the playoffs, then Linfield is going to earn it.
Overall, I love this move and I’m excited we are moving closer to a pure DIII schedule. If the ‘Cats can start the season by overcoming two talented teams in HSU and Oxy then that will be a great boost in building a case for a post season bid. Of course, the ‘Cats will want to leave no doubt and capture the NWC crown but these non-conference games will be marquee match-ups in the Division III landscape.
I have to applaud the great work that AD Carnahan and Coach Joe Smith have put in with regards to getting this done and for the changes coming in 2010-2011.
2009 is shaping up to be another challenging but exciting season.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
As reported by Linfield Sports, Scott had the longest two kicks in Divison III this season (56 and 54 yards) and holds the longest 5 kicks in Linfield history. Congratulations to Scott and we will miss you next season!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The main cog of Catdomealumni.com is the game highlight videos and I’m thankful to say the complete 2008 Highlight DVD is officially finished! I tell Mrs. 11 whenever a new highlight DVD is finished that “I think this might be my best yet” but really….I think the 2008 Highlight DVD might be my best work yet.
The team banquet was a few weeks ago and I pushed in wrapping up the main highlight reel (all the game clips and senior salute) but there was still work to do after the fact. There were some minor tweaks I made to the highlight DVD that 99% of folks wouldn’t notice but I wouldn’t feel right without fixing them.
***Video Nerd Alert*** I kept the format pretty much the same of past years (because it works) but instead of using Adobe Premiere Pro to capture, compose, and edit the highlight clips I moved the whole process to Adobe After Effects and that created a whole list of different issues. However, I made the move because of the power and flexibility of After Effects. It did take much longer to render the finish product and to cut each game but I think it gave the clips a higher quality finish. ***End of Video Nerd Alert***
I really don’t want to bore you with all the painful details of putting a football highlight DVD together but here is a little dirt; I work on each game after it’s played and try to have it close to finished before the following week. It’s a tedious and long process and it can’t be done with out someone like Mrs. 11 having my back and giving me great feedback on music, edits, clips, etc. She would be my executive producer and has always been supportive of these projects. The football part is pretty easy but the hardest part is the music. I’m 32 going on 33 and my first instinct is to reach for the AC/DC and Guns N Roses but I want the DVD to reflect 2008 and so I spend drives to work with my Sirius Radio tuned to channel 28 “Faction” and 20 “Octane” in hopes that my ear will pick out music that works and I’ll ask for input from some of the players. The end result is a good mix of hard rock, hip hop, top 40, and movie scores.
For the players, they’re getting close to 1 ½ hours of original clips that go beyond just the season highlights. Here is what will make up the 2008 Highlight DVD:
-2008 Season Highlights
-2008 Senior Salute
-2008 Scoreboard Team Intro Video
-Linfield Trivia (as shown during season on video board)
-Senior Moments (as shown during season on video board)
For the rest of you, I’m sorry but you’re going to have to wait till March before I start rolling out the clips on Catdomealumni.com but it will be worth the wait to have entertainment during the dreaded off season.
I’d also like to thank Brad Hazenberg who shot the opposite sideline during every home game, Kelly Bird for providing great still photos, David Cunningham and his student workers for all their great work in shooting the home games, Linfield Linebacker Calvin Park who was injured during the UPS game and stepped up and shot that game for an absent WC11 (great work!), Coach Hire for all the help with tapes and equipment, and of course Mrs. 11 for being the brains of the operation.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Life after college hasn’t slowed down Ray’s ability to tackle new challenges and when you examine #23’s life you find out that Ray is a Swiss army knife of life or a modern day Renaissance Man, if you will. Since leaving Linfield, Ray has been excelling as a personal trainer in the Vancouver area but he’s such a good looking guy that he felt obligated to dabble in the world of modeling. Who is Ray to deny the local Portland Metro area of those pearly whites?
So, Wildcat11 received a call from a fellow ‘Cat asking me to pick up this past Sunday’s Oregonian and check out the Fred Meyer Ad flier. Sure enough there is #23 shilling some Freddies active-wear. At first I said to myself “Wow, it really is Ray!” and then I said “WOW, Men’s Microfleece Jackets and Pants for only $19.99!!!!” If you’re going to be in the Newberg area this weekend, you might just bump into Wildcat11 at Fred Meyers looking for some new threads to blog in. No knock on Ray but that gear sells itself!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
When you compare Taylor’s line with Ball and Arndt you can see why they were pick in front of Taylor. Even though Ball played in one more game the area that I think probably landed them their 1st team spots were solo and total tackles. I really don’t have room to argue this point and will concede that those two are very deserving of the 1st team honor.