An A&M secession theory

Aggie Secession License PlateThe appropriate but not-as-funny-as-it-should-be image you see to the right here comes from NBC Sports’ impressive College Football Talk blog, which has never given up on the idea that Texas A&M is going to leave the Big 12 in favor of the SEC.  They were rightt: A&M informed the Big 12 this morning that the charter Big 12 member (and 1996 BIg 12 football champions) think it’s in their best interest “to make application to join another athletic conference.” Should said application be approved, A&M will exit the Big 12 on June 30, 2012.

I have no inside sources, no moles, no insiders whispering in my ear.  I’m only connecting dots as reported in various publications and not denied by those mentioned, something anyone could do.  But doing that, I’m confident that the reason A&M wants to bolt to the SEC boils down to just two words: Continue reading

Things people want to know, part 2

As long as I find this interesting, I thought I’d move the series to Mondays from Fridays as football season gets underway this Saturday—ugh, how can something that seemed to take forever to get here now seem to be arriving too fast?  As before, this is a look at search engine queries—things people typed into Google or Bing or Yahoo that led them to our humble site.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

1972 Pride of Oklahoma drum major

That was our good friend, the late Mel Penn. He’s only been gone six months but we still miss him greatly.

starting an alumni band association

You know, that’s an interesting question.  OUBAA was founded in 1954, 50 years after The Pride of Oklahoma first took the field, so none of our current officers was involved in the formation.  You might ask Rita Heath if she has any suggestions, and any other officers who want to volunteer can pipe up in the comments.  I’d also suggest talking to some other strong university band alumni associations (Michigan comes to mind; they publish a very slick alumni band newsletter/magazine).

meredith sigler twirler

Is she ever! Meredith Sigler ended her reign as the Pride’s Feature Twirler after the 2008 season.  This year, Megan McGeary returns for her third year as feature twirler for the Pride of Oklahoma, coming off a summer where she placed second overall in the national “Miss Majorette” competition, where she also took first place nationally in the twirling-only portion of that competition.  Way to go, Megan! [Ed: Yes, this originally had some names backward.  My apologies to both Meredith and Megan. It’s been a long week!]

OU football homecoming date

Still October 22, 2011.  I think we get a lot of people looking for it because we’re on top of it because, as the alumni band, we have to be. It’s the job.

[several queries for “poster,” “pictures,” etc.]

We’ve posted several 11″ by 17″ posters for OU symphonic wind concerts in advance of the performances, but to my knowledge, there are no “poster-size” posters of either The Pride or OUBAA images currently for sale.  Some Pride images are licensed by Sooner Sports Properties, so merchants that sell official OU logo merchandise may also have posters that include The Pride—but I’m not aware of any.  A few years ago, one of the student organizations sold pictures of a giant interlocking OU on the field as a fundraiser, but that ended the same year.  if I hear of anything, I’ll let you know.

As for pictures—the band department has a huge number of high-quality photos that they have put in the public domain, but this summer saw a revamp of the bands.ou.edu web site to use a spiffy content management system (kind of like the one that drives our new site but different to suit their different needs), and the pictures have not yet made the transition.  I’m sure they will at some point, so please have patience with them.  The first game is this Saturday (did I mention that?), so they’re a bit swamped this week!  🙂

Get your own user icon

Aside

You may have noticed that some posts and all comments have a small picture (“avatar”) beside them.  Mine is the OUBAA logo because, well, I’m the Webmaster and I’m the one who got Kevin Wolfe to redraw it several years ago in the same style as the now-current Pride of Oklahoma logo.  🙂

The images are called gravatars, short for “globally recognized avatars.”  You sign up for one free at gravatar.com (new window).  The picture is tied to your E-mail address, so if you comment on any other site using gravatars (and there are thousands upon thousands of them) with the same E-mail address, you’ll get the same picture.  It only takes about a minute to sign up, so if you’d like a picture of your choice displayed by any of your comments here, hop on over there and get it started!

Site change log

Status

As I continue to get the site updated, I’m looking at what people seek on the old site and trying to get them mapped to the new site.  Here is where I’ll keep a running log of the changes I make, with the newest ones at the top.  You don’t really need to care, but some people do care, so here’s the log. Continue reading

Things people want to know

The new software makes it a little easier than before to track what search engine queries lead people here—that is, the things that people type on Google or Bing or Yahoo that leads them to click on a link that winds up here. Most of these are things like “OU Band Alumni” or “oklahoma homecoming 2011” or similar, but others can be more fun. Shall we look? Continue reading

Rah-Rahs in the iTunes Store!

I’ve been waiting a few years for this, but it’s finally happened: the 2002 Rah-Rah CD is now available in the iTunes Store and from Amazon.com!

Click this button to see and buy it: [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/boomer-sooner-with-go-go/id455968778?uo=4″ title=”Rah-Rah! Boomer Sooner, Oklahoma, Fight For O.K.U. and More!”] Continue reading

Calendar updated again

Status

The site is working but the online events calendar still has to be updated by hand, and I forgot to do it in the server move.  I’ve updated it again, and added notes from the Big 12 Master Schedule for the three games (Tulsa, MIssouri, Iowa State) that will kickoff at 7:00 PM CT and be seen on Fox’s nominally non-sports network FX.

If you want to subscribe to the OUBAA calendar in iCal, Windows Calendar, Google Calendar, or similar program, you’ll find it at oubaa.ics. On a Mac, if you just click that link, it will download the file and import the events into one of your calendars. Be sure to use “Calendar > Subscribe…” in the menu bar to subscribe to it properly and get automatic updates.

I’ll try to get the whole thing fixed next week.  Google and the other search engines now know where the new site is, I think, so over the next week they should re-index it and find everything again.

Some features of the new site

When Web sites move, it can take a while for the Internet to figure it out, so I noticed on Friday that OU’s own network was still pointed to the old site (we’ll take that down in a few days). But if you’re reading this, you see our new site, powered by WordPress.

In addition to a modern design (it’s actually WordPress’s default theme, “Twenty Eleven,” which works very well for our purposes), there are lots of changes on the back end to make things easier for Rita and especially for me. That should make it easier for us to share pictures, files, and even audio and video on here.

The design should make the site easier to navigate and use. Even the search box (now at the top of the page) is fast and efficient. The pictures on each page are semi-random — each page is cached so the server can deliver it faster, and the pictures are picked randomly when the page is rebuilt. If you come back to a specific page after an hour or more, you may not see the same picture there. (If you have OUBAA pictures, own the rights to them, and they’re at least 1000 pixels wide by 300 pixels tall, let us know if you’d like them considered for rotation on the site’s pages!)

For most OUBAA members, the main new feature is that you don’t have to register to use the site. You can comment on any page without signing in; you just need to provide your name and E-mail address. (The latter is never displayed. In fact, we’ve added software so that even the E-mail addresses you read on here are scrambled to spambots trying to harvest them.) The URLs for each page make more sense. There are RSS feeds for both new content and for comments.

With the old site, we asked you to register because we have to protect intellectual property on some things—most importantly, on the music and rah-rahs we use at Homecoming. We limited access to registered members to control that. On the new site, we’ll put such things on pages protected by a password. When you register for Homecoming, we’ll send you the link and the password so you can get to the music and whatever else we have to share. (As of right now, that’s nothing—the Big 12 master schedule does have more kickoff times than we’ve put on the events calendar so far, but the homecoming game vs. Texas A&M is not one of them. And if you believe the rumors, it might be the last conference game against A&M anyway!)

The countdown timer to homecoming is in the right column on the home page. (The site knows when you’re on an iPad or smartphone and rearranges things—in that case, you’ll find the “right column” stuff at the very bottom of the page so you can read the news more easily.) When we have more info, we’ll stick it to the front of the home page similar to how we’ve done before. You can see the “Homecoming 2011” link in the menu underneath the big picture on every page, and that’ll take you to all the news as we post it, too.

That would include the upcoming newsletter, which your officers are worrying over even as you read this. We’ll have that available here when it’s done. We’ll have online registration though PayPal again. As with last year, the prices in the newsletter are for cash payments; online registration costs slightly more, about 3% rounded to make sense. This helps pay for PayPal’s service and leftover amounts go into the general fund. You can see the full report in the Spring 2011 Newsletter if you’re curious how last year’s funding turned out.

Meanwhile, it’s nearly football season! The other countdown shows that Pride auditions are on Monday and the band begins rehearsals Wednesday night. Three weeks from tonight, the drumline will be on the goal line waiting to start the 2011 season. It’s the first year without Nebraska and Colorado, and the changes may not be over yet. That’s all a level above the actual games, though, and they start very soon.

Do you like the new site? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let us know! We worked on getting this all modernized (and bringing over the old content) for several weeks, so we hope you enjoy it!

Hey, look! A brand-new site!

Status

I hope you like how it looks as much as I do. I’ll get to write much more about it this weekend, but feel free to look around and see what you like.

Best thing? You don’t have to register!. Comments don’t require registration, and finding homecoming stuff for those who register will be as simple as using a password we give you. Huzzah! Let us know what you think!