Schu Strings: A new era

The unveiling of the Eddie Lynch Pavilion coincides, coincidentally, with the unveiling of a new look for Cat Tracks Magazine. After a dozen years, Cat Tracks is changing its style, and it's long overdue.

The official unveiling is September, but for all intents and purposes, the Eddie Lynch Pavilion is up and running now. It's the fruition of a project that took seven years from concept to completion, and it looks as though the long hours of preparation have certainly paid off. It is an impressive facility that bodes well for the University of Arizona. It is a testament to cost-effectiveness and imaginative design, and it will probably act as the signature accomplishment for Athletic Director Jim Livengood.

"That's what makes Jim the best athletic director in the country," said Associate Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, responsible for much of the fundraising drive that generated 25 million dollars in private donations. "He really puts his mind into it. You see the weight room, you see the training room, they're combined. We were able to utilize one space for all of our programs. A lot of schools want to have separate facilities, for football, for basketball. Jim's philosophy is we're the University of Arizona first and foremost, and we're all student-athletes in one building. I've worked at institutions where the baseball coach was on the baseball field, the basketball coach somewhere else. You never got to see them. There was no camaraderie. Here, all the kids train together. It lends itself to saving expenses and provides an atmosphere where the student-athletes feel good about themselves when we say we're a family, because it's true."

So what does the completion of the Eddie Lynch Pavilion have to do with Cat Tracks Magazine?

Well not much directly. But it is the feature story in the new-look version of the magazine. For years, as you know, Cat Tracks has been a weekly tabloid, roughly 24 pages. But the magazine changed a bit from an aesthetic standpoint, and in my opinion, became ultimately a victim of its own necessary advertising approach. It opted for a number of sponsorship pages, critical to keep the magazine in operation, but to me, not particularly pleasing to the eye, nor particularly insightful from a content standpoint given severe limitations of space.

But things are changing. With this issue, Cat Tracks is undertaking a new approach. It will be published on a generally monthly calendar, and in glossy format, which should lend itself to more in-depth stories. Such as the cover story in this issue, an outstanding in-depth look of the Eddie Lynch Pavilion as compiled by editor Brad Allis. This is the type of story Cat Tracks would have had a hard time running in recent years, but the new format allows the option of providing a great deal more detail, which I think is good.

To me, it's not perfect. I'd prefer a magazine in the 48-64 page range, as opposed to the 40-page glossy subscribers will receive, but I think there's great potential for better quality overall. It gives writers the opportunity to tackle issues and expand on features, things that were not available with the old format, and hopefully readers will get better information on a given subject as a result. I think Brad will do a fine, fine job with the new look.

The first issue is slated for release sometime next week.

On a quick non-sports or company-pimping rant:
It's time for a new law. Now those who know me know I'm not big on news laws. Too much confinement and all that, but after enduring the idiocy of humanity late last week, I think it's time someone stepped in. Hence, I propose Geek Zone legislation. Before I continue, as you probably know if you've read any of Brad's material in regards to bagging on Schu, Schu (that would be me) has more than his share of serious geeky tendencies. But Schu tends to be pretty good at keeping these within the confines of his overrun Godzilla-figure adorned apartment.

Here's the deal. If you're a Star Wars fan, please don't dress up to see the movie. Hey, if you're en route to the Sci Fi Convention at the local hotel lobby, that's a different matter altogether. That's a Geek Zone. I've been there, I know. Dress to your geek's content. But the sanctuary of the movie theater is public domain, and your geekiness should not be displayed for the rest of normal humanity to witness. Sci Fi Conventions, renaissance fairs, Comicon, the SCA gathering, the TASS-Anime Club showing every Saturday at Harvill 150, fine, dress up like Sailor Moon or Jar Jar Binks. But in public, you should be Light Sabered on sight.

And what's with this inability to wait? Lining up weeks in advance to watch a movie. A movie you could have seen three days after its opening at any of the day's 62 million showings. I know, I caught the Monday matinee, waited in line about six minutes, watched it in relative comfort. No hassle, no time spent twirling my hair in the Princess Leah look.

There was a story about a couple who is in trouble for leaving their two-year-old at home to check out the midnight showing of Episode II. That kid's already doomed, not because he/she was left at home, but because he/she's parents are hopeless geeks. Don't save for college. He/she will get more than his/her share of scholarships. Start saving for therapy.

Geek Zones. I'm all for it.

As an aside, Episode II lands squarely between the other four efforts. It is not nearly the quality of The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars, and not nearly the cinematic atrocity of Jedi and Phantom Menace. Effects are very impressive, but the Annikan character is a little whiney doof, and the love story is straight out of bad Douglas Sirk.

Enough ranting. I need to cut this short. There's a Godzilla figure on ebay and the auction ends soon.

[Editor's Note: Schu's apartment is not a geek zone, unless some nice lady wants to go over there in a "Return of the Jedi" Princess Leah gold bikini, harem girl outfit.]

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