Monday, June 22, 2015

115th U.S. Open Championship

The US Open was being played out in Chambers Bay so because it was so close to me I was naturally curious to watch it. I had even thought about attending because it was just something to do as a sports fan. Since the ticket prices were a little out of my range and I had the opportunity to just relax and do nothing, I decided to watch the 115th US Open Championship on my computer. I was able to watch golf all weekend courtesy of Fox and let me tell you it was great! I surprised myself by loving every minute of it.

At the start of the tournament I was determined to cheer for Tiger Woods like probably a lot of mainstream golf fans. He did not play well and eventually was cut. Now without Tiger I would've normally just stopped watching but I continued on mainly to give these other golfers to impress me. And boy did they ever. Jason Day had fought a bout with vertigo and overcame it to finish the round. The wunderkind Jordan Spieth who had captured The Masters earlier in April (I had watched the final round at Hooters.) played very well again in another major. Dustin Johnson magically appeared at the leader board. Before I knew it these guys quickly became my new favorite golfers. The tournament was exciting because a winner wasn't decided the way until the very last putt.

Yes, I had heard of Phil Mickelson and Rory Mcilroy. I learned Phil never won the US Open but he played poorly so I didn't have an opportunity to cheer for him as much as I liked. Rory had an outstanding final round that made me an instant fan, but ultimately couldn't compete for the Championship. Watching these household players for the first time in a somewhat meaningful tournament (because the US Open was being played near me) allowed me to keep watching.  Also, kudos to Fox for bringing a familiar voice in sports in Joe Buck as an announcer. Joe Buck was a familiar voice in an unfamiliar sport.

This experience of becoming a fan of golf was truly wonderful and I enjoyed every minute of it. The compelling storyline, the competitiveness of the golfers, the unpredictability of every shot, the excitement in familiar voice, is why I became a sports fan and it all played out organically this weekend while watching the U.S Open.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

MLB.TV Premium

Opening Night is a mere two weeks away and a lot of baseball fans around the country including yours truly are very excited. I can't wait to see the Boys of Summer all season long. I am looking forward to attending a few ball games at Citi Field too. I'm a Queens boy raised as a Mets fan, though I think of myself as a baseball fan first. If you're a baseball fan you got to have an MLB.tv subscription to watch live baseball online. It's not free, but definitely worth the price because you can stream almost any MLB games with MLB.tv. 

The MLB.tv Premium subscription is $129.99 and it includes the At Bat app. 

You also get home and away broadcasts. If you have a favorite announcer this is perfect. For me, I'm a huge Vin Scully fan. (He's returning for his 66th season in the Dodgers booth. God bless him.) You learn a lot from your TV announcers. AwfulAnnouncing.com produced The MLB Local TV Announcer Rankings last year and if you're interested (and I know you are) you can see it here

Another huge benefit to having MLB.tv Premium subscription is that it supports over 400 devices from Xbox 360 to Chromecast to Roku. It's rather ideal if you want to watch out of market MLB games on your favorite devices. 

For more information you can visit MLB.tv. I hope you enjoy the upcoming baseball season and let's play ball!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Getting Paid to Learn

I've been fortunate to have learned from one of the best mentors on Earth. Anyone in the free world can learn from the best in anything in the digital age. Go to Youtube and watch some videos on how to do something. Go to the public library and borrow a book and begin to read and learn. They say that reading is fundamental and that knowledge is power. I believe that in every ounce of my body. There's no right or wrong way to learn. Either you are learning or you're not. That's why it's important to read books, absorb knowledge, and grow more successful everyday. 

I've been working in a call center since forever. I learn something new each day about myself and others. Right now I work as a Customer Service and Sales Rep, and like every employee on some days I'm tired and on other days I'm enthusiastic. I always remind myself once in a while that I'm being paid to learn. That's something I picked up from Mark Cuban. In the book How to Win at the Sport of Business he said that if you find yourself in a job you don't like, the thing to do was to continue your education. He did not mean go back to school but that you should treat your job as getting paid to learn!   

Let's all go out and learn and paid for it!

P.S I think college education is great. I am not dismissing a college education. I went back to get my Master's and I'm proud that I have earned such a distinguished degree. Not only that my parents are super proud and that's a feeling money cannot buy. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Duolingo Review

This month I found out about Duolingo.com and boy am I glad! It's a free foreign language learning site and app that you can learn in just ten minutes per day. Let me tell you I am hooked. If you have ever wanted to learn another language but don't think you have the time or money, well, you've run out of excuses! 

Personally, I've been using Duolingo.com for a little bit over two weeks now and I've made a lot of progress in learning Spanish. I've been learning Spanish since the 5th grade and even took a college level Spanish course. But I've stopped studying Spanish over 10 years ago. The human mind is amazing though and I using the Duolingo.com app has refreshed my memory of Spanish. I've managed to reach level 8 in Spanish on Duolingo by just putting in maybe 10-20 minutes per day the past two weeks. 

Since relearning Spanish on Duolingo I've become a little bored and wanted to try other languages such as French and Swedish. I attempted to learn French about 7 years ago after I got back from my Paris trip. I studied French for about a month and then I guess I got bored and stopped. In just three days I've reached level 2 on French and Swedish. However, because of my previous self study with French I expect to progress much faster in French than in Swedish. 

So yeah, by next year I hope to be conversational at least in Spanish, French, and Swedish. If I can do that I am going to reward myself by going to Sweden. And I definitely want to visit Spain and France again. In the mean time you can see all the progress I've made and follow me on www.duolingo.com/MarcPong.