@ryandonsullivan Did something similar with…

@ryandonsullivan Did something similar with this one. Amazing 3D printer tech. What’s LEGO?
https://twitter.com/whyisjake/status/1239207327401721856?s=21 https://twitter.com/whyisjake/status/1239207327401721856


Opening Day Would Have Been Today

I wrote this in an update to Continental Little League, but I wanted to share it here too…

As a community, there is so much that goes into running a league. There is a budget, there is labor, there is coaching, and there is the kind of growth that we see in our kids with patience, perseverence, and practice throughout a baseball season.

A week and a half ago, I was at my sons practice on a Wednesday evening. I had spent the night chatting with parents and board members about how we would likely be canceling opening day in a few weeks. As pratice was wrapping up, the push notifications started pouring in. First it was a player from my home town Utah Jazz, and then Tom Hanks. Everything changed over the next 24 hours. 

Canceling opening day was that start. Postponing the season came next. Over the last 10 days, I have tried to find some normalcy in baseball, something that has been incredibly difficult for me. 

Today I was at Ygnacio Valley Elementary. I had a few goals, drop off some equipment that was taking up space in the garage at home, and mow the fields. We spent a lot of time and effort leveling the fields a few weeks ago, and I was curious to see how the fields looked.

There are a few spots in the grass, but the fields look great. I brought my two youngest over this afternoon to hit a ball around. We bumped in to a few Continental families, and was reminded that today would have been opening day. 

March 21st. Opening Day.

It has been on my calendar for months now. We lined up the photo vendor, coffee and shaved ice were going to be available. The Oakland A’s, were going to attend, and yes… Stomper was promised. Kaiser asked if they could come, and bring activities around health and wellness. We were going to proudly unveil a new announcer booth on Jones Field, and a new scoreboard to match. UA Local 342 has been instrumental in the process, and we want to thank them for their support. 

Baseball is still around the corner. The Continental Little League board is anxiously awaiting guidance from the Contra Costa Health Department, and Little League Baseball on when to start the season. We are planning on playing a full season as soon as possible, and are leaning on the Continental Family for support in the process. 

For what to do now, there is nothing better then playing catch with your kid. I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that time spent playing catch is added exponentially to the end of your life. If you are looking for more, the league has full access to the parent and coaching drills for Big Al Baseball available. There are age specific drills that can make a huge difference for any player.

Lastly, I’d never suggest just watching TV, but every game of the A’s and the Giants on TV right now, they don’t seem to lose. (Personally, I love watching the Yankees lose too… ?) Games are great for watching mechanics, watching form, and explaining to kids that even the great strike out on occasion.

Anyways, wanted to keep in touch, and let you know that social distancing doesn’t have to mean a life without baseball. We had a rolicking game of whiffle ball in the front yard today…


Jake Spurlock

Continental Little League, President

Quarantine Project – Longboard

While we are “quarantined in place”, we have been looking for lots of projects to do around the house. While cleaning my desk, I uncovered a copy of Matt Berger’s “The Handmade Skateboard: Design & Build a Custom Longboard, Cruiser, or Street Deck from Scratch”. Matt and I both work together on the VIP team at Automattic and have shared a few projects since we got to know each other.

Rush has been looking for projects, so a kit of trucks and wheels was ordered from Amazon, and we got to work on the deck.

Years ago, Mark Frauenfelder shared this fun project in Make: Projects, and I got to take a few laps around Expo Hall at Maker Faire on it. I always loved the simple bend in the plies of the wood, and have wanted to mimic the project.

We glued two pieces of scrap plywood together, then clamped up as tight as we could. Does anyone ever have enough clamps?

Similar to Mark’s project, we opted to add some camber to the board. A brick and a bucket of baseballs overnight was enough to set the curve into the drying board.

Rush freehanded a great design onto the board with a pencil. We did a little square up the design and ensure that it was mostly mirroring the design on the Y-axis. After the design, it was time to cut the shape. Rush did a pretty good job with the jigsaw, getting a little bit of help on some of the corners.

After some sanding and shaping, we decided to attach the wheels and trucks for a test run..

We ended up with a shape that was kind of a fish design. I’ll let Matt weigh in on a formal taxonomy for the board shape. It has some nice pop and riding high on the risers and tallboy wheels. I took it down the driveway and immediately crashed in the street when the back wheels locked up on the board. Need to change the shape if I was going to be riding it a lot…

On the whole, a total success! Now, what do we do for the next 12-15 weeks of quarantine?

Matt published some free plans on his site. The book is a fantastic piece of art with great anecdotes, photography and more.