The Death of Innovation

This video is a few years old now. In fact, we first watched it in 2007 or 2008 before our kids even started attending school. The idea that creativity is just as important as literacy is one that I subscribe to wholeheartedly.

If you are not prepared to be wrong, or refuse to ever be wrong then you will never come up with anything original. So if our educational systems are too formulaic and focus too much on eliminating mistakes and always getting the right answers then we effectively institutionalize what is the opposite of innovation. 

Anyhow, if you haven’t seen this and are curious about intelligence, creativity, ideas and educational systems give this a watch.

stephen vogt

I Still Believe in Stephen Vogt…

Back in 2013, Noah and I had a sweet baseball arrangement.  Every two weeks or so we would head down to the local SuperCuts for a hair cut and five free tickets to see some Sacramento Rivercats baseball.

This was an advanced advertising program that really made no economic sense to me. I was paying about $30 dollars for two haircuts and getting $100 in tickets every two weeks or so for two years. It was a sweet deal though and over the 2013-2014 season our family fell in love with minor league baseball at Raley Field.

Stephen Vogt.

Stephen Vogt.

Anyhow, at that time the Sacramento Rivercats were the triple A affiliates of the Oakland Athletics.  And in 2013 their catcher was Stephen Vogt.

Vogt was fun to watch and a class act.  Along with Daric Barton, he was one of the players who would be out on the field early, smiling, and signing autographs for the kids.

He seemed like a genuinely humble guy and over time Vogt became our favorite Rivercat to watch.  He went 0 for 33 in the majors and quotes Col 3:23 in his twitter profile (i.e. he’s philosophically down with the idea of hard work and it shows ).

Over the course of that season things got interesting.  Midway through the season he got his first MLB hit (a homerun) and near the end a walk off single to win game 2 of the 2013 ALCS.  Between 2013 and 2017 Vogt played about 400 games with the A’s.

So I was bummed out when I saw this:

Catcher Stephen Vogt, a two-time All-Star who helped the A’s reach the 2013 and ’14 playoffs, was designated for assignment Thursday. The club called up Bruce Maxwell, 26, to replace him.

Source: Oakland A’s dump beloved All-Star catcher Stephen Vogt

Such is baseball. All good things must come to an end and I sure appreciate the memories.

Stephen Vogt’s 2013 season was great to watch from it’s beginnings at Raley Field to that game winning walk off hit in the post season.  That year was a fun time for our family and a big part of our baseball bug now.  Raley Field is one of our favorite places and Vogt’s story played a fun part in that.

So thanks for the memories Mr. Vogt.  We are going to miss you and wish you all the best…

The difference between winning and succeeding | John Wooden

I have always loved John Wooden’s definition of success.  By no means am I a basketball coach, player, or fan.  But you don’t need to appreciate basketball to appreciate John Wooden.

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. ~ John Wooden

John Wooden was an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles. Nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood,” he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period as head coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row.


Maximize Your Chances of Catching a Homerun Ball at Safeco Field posted a data set of “catchable” home runs at Safeco Field in 2016.  The seatgeek data is listed as a table and I thought that it might be interesting to try to visualize it.  I hate tables and couldn’t resist.  Plus, I wanted to test out an excel template for making Paretos.

So… here are the results.  The screen shot below is a Pareto analysis of seatgeek’s data.  It isn’t a perfect 80/20 distribution, but you can definitely use the analysis to dial in your seating in order to increase the likelihood that you will be in the right place at the right time.

Pareto analysis of catchable homeruns by section number at Safeco Field.

Pareto analysis of catchable home runs by section number at Safeco Field.

Assuming that the people at Seatgeek counted their homeruns right, this is what I’m taking from this…

If you want to maximize your odds of catching a home run ball at Safeco Field, get a seat in section 108.  Is 108 full?  Section 107 is your next best option.

Approximately half of all of the catchable home runs are launched into three sections 108, 107, and 106.

So here is why I love Paretos.  The folks over at KING 5 news did the same analysis.  They suggested sections 108, 107 and 106 too but in the opposite order.  They also suggested section 181 which only sees about 15% of the catchable homeruns.

You might be tempted into thinking that sections 102, 103, 104 or even the seating above the bullpens would provide some decent home run catching opportunities.  The data suggests otherwise.

The distribution actually makes sense if you check out a map of the park.  Much of the lower level in left and center field is unavailable for seating so everything that is catchable shifts right.

Safeco Feild Seating Map

Safeco Feild Seating Map


How to break your planning into organizational tiers

A few times a year I mess with my planning system. I am an old school Franklin Covey fan, but have made attempts to modernize

The problem is that I always look for a single solution.  It’s either a paper notebook, the franklin planner OR an electronic system.  

I had not considered the AND option by breaking the process down organizationally by time horizon and using multiple tools.  Not sure why… it seems obvious now.

In any case I stumbled across this video this morning and it suggests that you do essentially that. I like the idea…