Robots Do Not Smile

Two days of high temps and humidity, and some of us are already longing for the season just passed. I’m not going that far yet, but it’ll be too bad if spring forsakes us in favor of an early summer.

Either way, the seasonal change made me want to dust off my old Colle+McVoy ¬°Futurismos! team soccer jersey for work today.

It’s the first time Amelia had ever seen it–or the first time she remembered it anyway. She LOVES stickers so the team insignia patch drew automatic interest.

Through the eyes of my daughter I learned something about robots. Or myself.

D: “Amelia, who is that on my shirt?”
A: “You, Daddy!”
D: “Why do you think that’s me?”
A: “Because it isn’t smiling.”

Point taken: There will be much smiling on my face this afternoon. Half-day at the office this morning = time with the kids this afternoon.


Kicking It Down The Stretch

Something awesome happened at home the other night sandwiched in between a long day at the office and a long night of deck writing. It wasn’t anything particularly mind blowing (like that I won the raffle for the Vespa I’ve always wanted…alas I did not). But as it happened it made the other particulars of my day completely insignificant. And as a result I’ve replayed the scenes in my mind the rest of the week.

Jackson started playing soccer in the backyard.

He’s four-and-a-half so this shouldn’t be a big deal. Some of his friends have been kicking around soccer balls and footballs–and even catching baseballs–for months if not longer. But for a boy with Asperger’s, which according to what we’ve been reading can hinder hand-eye coordination as well as the general desire and overall ability to participate in sports, this is news.

We had just finished eating our dinner in the back and were just lazing in the mix of sun and shade when I turned to see Jack, tongue clenched between his teeth, chasing his new ball back and forth across the grass. Kicking it deliberately every time he finally caught up to it.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve been out there trying to incent some form of interest in kicking balls back and forth, throwing and catching. Just trying to create some kind of playing regimen out there. And there he was doing it all by himself. When he thought no one was watching him.

Just making it happen.

2010 Olympics – Day 10

I love football. American rules football is great. But by “football” what I really mean is soccer. It’s a fun game to watch. Even more fun to play. (Yes, I still think so after scoring an “own goal” back in 6th grade. Yes, that still haunts me to this day.) Unfortunately I’m not in the same shape I used to be. So, sadly, to get my football kicks I recently dipped back in to video gaming. Courtesy of the FIFA soccer game app for the iPhone, I can get back to doing all those stylish moves I dreamed of even back when I played. (Look, I never said I was a good footballer, OK?)

This all leads me to the games of the Games. The Olympics Facebook fan page lets visitors play some video games out on the slopes. The Vancouver 2010 Official Minigame lets you compete against other players and post your scores. In true social networking fashion, you can also share your results with your network of friends.

That’s a bit of a miss with NBC’s offering. Their You Be The Judge application lets you score figure skater performances and then compare your scores to those of the real ice skating judges. (And maybe see if you can pull some sketchy numbers the way that one judge did at Torino four years ago.) If I was in to figure skating I bet this would be a fun little personal test. But what about that miss already alluded to? The scores you submit to the NBC site end up displaying on the site, but only you get to see how you scored the athletes. Had it taken a page from its gaming “competitor” over at the Olympics Facebook page, it would have let you tout “your” scores to your friends on Facebook and even post them to the You Be The Judge site scoresheet. Again, if I was in to figure skating, I’d like to know how accurate my supposed judging prowess might be when compared to the pros; and whether my scoring was more accurate than what my network was able to pull together.