Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Go to a Softball Game

Last week Melanie and I took a walk through Park Road Park and came across the Queens University softball team practicing. We didn't know they practiced and played their home games right down the street from us. We vowed to go see a couple of games. I took a long lunch today and went down there to catch as much of the two games as I could. They were playing Mars Hill College today. Mars Hills is north of Asheville.

I arrived today just in time for the last two outs of a 2-0 win by Queens. The teams then took about a half hour break. Next time I am bringing a book. I left during the second inning of the second game. Judging by the pitching and how the hits were falling I am willing to bet that Queens went on to win that game also. This was the first time I had watched women's college softball. I like it, the teams play for single runs just like Ty Cobb.

I saw several players take a step as they swung in an attempt to slap the ball to the opposite field. Just like Ty Cobb.

I was surprised while previewing pictures when I saw the obvious great balance it takes to pitch this way. I showed Charlie at work and he compared what he saw to dancers. I think that is an apt comparison.

Jessica Scott, Queens University pitcher

Mars Hill pitcher

I messed this one up. I only caught part of ball. This is Kaitlyn Cheek and she drilled this ball out to left center. She has a great swing.
Kaitlyn Cheek

One thing I have noticed while watching some softball on television is that women's softball teams keep up constant chatter, both while on the field shouting encouragement to the pitcher and to teammates who have made good or bad defensive plays and while batting. Queens even had some chants they would throw out in certain situations. I liked the one they used when a teammate fouled a pitch off. Something along the line of, "Don't like it, foul it off" and then they smacked the fence. In the picture below Mars Hill players are encouraging their current batter.

That was a nice lunch outing. I hope to go see them play again and this time catch both games.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Boring Golf Story

This last Sunday Wendell and I headed out to Revolution Park to play some golf. I had a decent day for once. For a few holes I really felt like my swing was coming together. You know how that works though. A couple of holes later and you're about to swear off golf.

It's funny and frustrating to me that the best shots I hit seem a lot of the time to turn into bad shots. Usually it is due to picking the wrong club. There is a green on the back nine at Sunset Hills that I have twice sailed with a seven iron because I was fooled by the distance. Each shot was a beauty also. Is there a German word for the elation and then frustration you feel after hitting a beautiful looking golf shot with the wrong club for your distance? Goddamnitfruede, maybe?

This time I hit my first shot on the short dogleg eighth hole around the dogleg and next to a tree about 60 yards from the hold. I hooked the shot and got lucky. The ball was sitting up on top of a pile of weeds and dirt and there was a tree halfway to the hole, right in my path. I figured my only chance was to take my wedge and knock the shit out of it and hope for the best. I just nailed this ball and it went straight up over the tree (over the tree! Holy shit how did that even happen?!?) landed on the green and...rolled off the back. God Dammit!! Well, it was only six feet off the green and if I hadn't pooched the chip I could have been putting for par...but still, you would like to what is possibly the best shot you ever hit stay on the green when it hits there. I can still see that shot go up over that tree and hit that green, it was perfect for a few seconds.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dale Earnhardt

Since the Daytona is being run tonight under the lights how about a NASCAR picture? I took this picture of Dale Earnhardt pitting at Rockingham in 1992. This was during a Busch series race. earnhardt pitting

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Another Old Picture

The only information on the photo is the date someone wrote on the bottom front. It reads 17 Aug 1952.
17 Aug 1952

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Old Pictures

The last time I was up in Michigan I told my uncle Ron that I would be happy to scan and post any old family photos he had stored away. That day he told me had some photos from his tour in Vietnam and I even more enthusiastically told him I would be happy to scan and post those also. A few of the Vietnam photos follow.

Ron sitting on some steps.

Ron in Vietnam, December 1966

Standing in a doorway. Chow hall, maybe?

Ron in Doorway

This photo is labeled "K.P.s" I assume these are women that worked in the kitchen and mess area.


Ron clowning around with a couple of ladies. These look like KP workers to me.

ron and ladies

I love this shot of Ron in his cook's hat

Ron in Cook Hat

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Knuckleball

Joe Posnanski posted a essay on the knuckleball on his blog and it got me to think about Jimmy Flores, who pitched at Glen Lake when I was there. He was a year behind me. I cant' remember if Jimmy used that knuckleball in a game but he used to throw while we played catch. He had a good knuckleball. Catching it was tough. One time he threw it and, I swear, I had my glow near my belt and the ball hit me on the foot.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Old Photo

Occasionally I'll buy an old photograph at a thrift store if it catches my eye. This is Tommy Amy on Easter Sunday in 1956.

Easter Sunday 19956

Saturday, February 18, 2012

One More Torch Lake Picture

The day after I took the winter Torch Lake photograph the sun came out. I had to drive down there one more time. The lake's color needs sunlight to shine.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The difference a season makes

In September I took the first picture of Torch Lake at the public access near the Clam River. The picture below I took yesterday.

Torch Lake in the Morning

Torch Lake

Monday, February 13, 2012

Vacation Pictures

I know how much people enjoy vacation pictures. Here are a few of mine. I am up in northern Michigan for a week.

You can't fly directly to Traverse City from Charlotte. My first leg took me from Charlotte to Chicago. I like flying into Chicago because that city looks incredible from the air. This time we approached over Lake Michigan from the east and this was the first time I had approached the city from that direction and it provided a spectacular view. I should have had my camera ready but I'm not sure if my digital camera qualifies as an "electronic device." I should ask. It was also the second time I saw Wrigley Field from the air. Beautiful.

This picture below is the view of the skyline from O'Hare.

After we took off from Chicago we went north for a good while and as we started heading over Lake Michigan I saw this city and grabbed a few shots. I am pretty sure this is Milwaukee, WI.

Milwaukee, WI

On southern end of Lake Leelanau this weekend there was a group of locals on the ice sail skiing and ice sailing. I was really impressed by one who was ice skiing. It looked to me like he was wearing downhill skis while flying around the sail. I swear, he was pushing 40 mph when swinging around.

There are a few shanties on Lake Leelanau. There was a wicked wind blowing from the south and it was around 20 degrees. My fingers were useless after going gloveless for about thirty seconds.

I took my usual trip to Good Harbor for a look at the sunset. What a magnificent place. IMG_4574


After sunset at Good Harbor we cruised over to the Holy Rosary Church area and on the hill behind the church, looking west, I tried to get a another look at the fading sunset.

Before we headed out to Good Harbor, Allison and I stopped by Gabe's in Maple City and I purchased my usual batch of hot dogs. I saw something called a "potato sausage" and I had to buy a couple. I had one this morning and it is splendid. It has a nice touch of potato and onion. Unique and delicious.

Tomorrow I lunch with Kevin and then head to Antrim County for a few days. I'd like to get up early and catch sunrise at Torch Lake. I will probably settle for sunset.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Scott H. Biram at the Double Door

The other night I had a real nice experience at the Double Door. A singer/songwriter Scott H. Biram played a show. I discovered him just in the last few months and was hoping he would come through. His new album called Bad Ingredients is truly great. The song Broke Ass is a song about dating a stripper that Mike Cooley wishes he had written.

Biram is hard to describe. You can call it rock and roll, country, blues, shit kicking metal or all of that at once. He did all these with an honesty, ferocity, knowledge and skill that was impressive. He reminds me of Mojo Nixon, Bog Log and the Drive-by Truckers. He mixed it up a lot. He covered a Wood Guthrie song. He played I be's Troubled by Muddy Waters which is one of Muddy's first recordings. He played some Jimmie Rodgers. He bullshitted his way halfway through two Butthole Surfers songs that someone was bugging him for. That was fun for me when I finally figured out what he was playing. He closed the show by playing the full Am I Evil by Diamondhead, which was amazing. He also played a slew of his own material, all of it of very high quality. I was wondering if he could pull Victory Song off live and he nailed it.

One thing he does real well is drive a song. He can get that stomp board going and he can put an intensity into a song that is infectious. This was one of the few shows at the Double Door I have been to where the audience crowded the stage and really became part of the show. Biram fed off the intimacy and we all got sweaty and enjoyed the groove.

Biram has a bit of a reputation as a hell raiser and a few of the younger attendees were, well, drunken fuckwads. It was interesting to see Biram play this brilliant set of music and see several of these kids pound PBRs and generally act like asses. The songs he writes and the music he plays are so much more than that. The majority of the crowd was into what Biram was laying down and were with him but the idiot fucks were a distraction. After the show one of them was in the parking lot puking his guts out. It's the little things sometimes that make life fun. As this kid, who was wearing a jean jacket vest with a patch on the back that said "Wooly Wood," was hurling a friend of his hollered at him to go find a corner to hurl in. He said, "It's OK, (spew!), I'm almost done." This rocket scientist also spent a lot of the evening punching himself in the face in time with the beat. He also got tossed out.

Scott H. Biram at the Double Door by me.
Scott H. Biram

A better photographer than me was there and you can view her pictures of the night here. She doesn't allow embedding so I can't post them. I don't understand why some photographers choose not to allow embedding. Do you not want people to see your work? Oh well.

Glen the Car Guy

I happened to glance out the window at work the other day and saw Glen the Car Guy pushing his bike on the sidewalk. I grabbed my camera and caught him right after he had climbed back on his bike and was coasting down a hill. It's like seeing bigfoot.