The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.
BEHIND THE MIC:
I do not need to tell anyone that life is far from normal. We work from home, we stay at home, we cook every meal at home, and we try to take a walk every day not far from home – home, home, and home.
This past week, we tried to expand that environment technologically. Our first goal was a family one – we wanted to try and celebrate Easter dinner “together”. The logistics seemed to be a challenge: my oldest daughter and her husband were in Salisbury Township; our second daughter and family were in Northampton; our grandson was in Bethlehem Township; and our one granddaughter was in upstate New York. We were in Palmer Township.
And I, of course, was the technical novice (nicer word than idiot). We were going to use something called “Hangouts” which was promoted by my son-in-law and grandson. Easter Saturday became the day for “remote learning”, a term very familiar to the students who are no longer in school. My son-in-law needed to call and text. Let the learning begin. It only took an hour and a half to set it up to the point where I felt comfortable using the app.
My wife and I thought that having Easter dinner together actually meant having Easter dinner together. Well, when 6:00pm rolled around and we all got on our computers, the only ones who had not already eaten were my wife and I. So, we ate and they talked and talked. It certainly was not the same as gathering around our dining room table, but we saw everyone, knew that all were safe, and coping pretty well. However, I’m sure everyone missed my wife’s Ukrainian Easter traditional dishes. Easter was a special time for my in-laws and that tradition has carried over to my family as well. But, the bottom line was that we did communicate with one another.
On Tuesday, it was decided that we would try to do a SportsTalk show from our homes, via, you guessed it, teleconferencing. Only this time the format would be ZOOM. A new learning lesson was required. I tested my system on Tuesday and found ZOOM to be very simple. I was either getting smarter or the process was easier. I expect you all are assuming the latter.
Luckily, before the SportsTalk taping, I was also asked to attend an RCN staff meeting using ZOOM technology. I was finally able to see some of my fellow workers for the first time in over a month. There were about 15 of us. It immediately became apparent that the camera angle was important – for many, looking up their nose was somewhat unpleasant. I also became very aware of good posture (and its absence). Some chose electronic artificial backgrounds. One looked like the person was in a casino, probably not a good message during a staff meeting. Nor, I would guess, was one where someone appeared to be on a Caribbean beach. The good news is that we had a rather normal meeting in a very abnormal setting.
It was on to SportsTalk, which you can watch on Video on Demand if you wish. Chris Michael and Keith Groller had invited John Leone and me to participate. I think it was John Leone, but his full beard threw me a bit. Here was a man losing hair on top, but growing plenty of hair below. Chris was in the studio and the three of us were in our homes.
I began to feel like Sanjay Gupta, who is in my home more than you can possibly imagine. Much like his reports from home, we were doing something similar and equally “important” (I’ll wait for the disdain to pass). The show went well. Each of the three of us had our own little box and, much like in the studio, we were able to have a somewhat lucid conversation.
It all worked. And, amazingly, it worked for me (the technological idiot). So, bring on Hangouts, ZOOM, Facetime, and anything else you want to throw my way. I am ready!
Now what’s my ZOOM password? I’m sure I wrote it down somewhere.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- You can expect LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Ohio State’s defensive end Chase Young to go 1-2 in the draft this week. The Cincinnati Bengals will pick #1 (probably Burrow) and the Washington Redskins #2 (that means Young). It begins Thursday.
- If you are a college football fan, you know the name (but probably can’t pronounce it) Tua Tagovailoa. He is the quarterback from Alabama who will be a high draft choice this year, projected to be taken by Miami. He is left-handed. I bring this up because out of the 73 QBs who actually played in an NFL game last year, not one was left-handed. Two played in five games in 2017 and the last left-handed QB to start and win a playoff game in the NFL was Tim Tebow. Tua is fighting plenty of history.
- I am beginning to believe we might have some MLB baseball in some form. I am also beginning to believe you will only be able to see it on TV.
- The high school football season is approaching. I think we can practice social distancing in the stands, but what about the young men playing on the field? There are some very tough decisions to be made in the next month or so.
- Isn’t golf an “essential” pastime? The guys I play with are usually hundreds of yards apart after they hit their drives. We can call it “social distancing” if you want instead of, “That was a terrible drive”.