Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Stones

The Boston Herald proclaimed that tickets for the Stones at Feway Pahk are going for $3500.00. I saw the Stones in 1981 for $16.00, AND it included George Thorogood and Journey. The latter's performance was extra special as most of the crowd gave them the finger for their entire show. I was a huge Stones fan then, and also a Beatles fan. I have no time for the "which were better" arguments, and even less time for the "Ringo was a bad drummer" discussions. As if our petty little opinions matter. One only needs to listen to the entire Let It Bleed record to get that Keith Richard was a force in 1969. He played all the guitar parts on the record, and the bass on several.

I think the only shows that I might pay $3500.00 for would involve time travel. Pink Floyd's Animals, Dark Side, and Wish You Were Here tours. Led Zep around the Song Remains the Same period. I think that is about it. Probably the Stones 69 tour and a Beatles show as well.

The Stones were actually not that great in 1981, although I loved that they played "Let It Bleed".


All the news


Slammed this week. I have a Fidelity Investments meeting for most of the week. 6am calls...harsh. I just learned that my Live Sound class was cancelled for the summer. That is kind of a bummer, but a bit of relief.


Finished up my season with Wellesley this past weekend. We ended on a high note by beating the Alums in the annual match-up. My captains were delighted.

Things are starting to ramp up for the June tournaments. I had a good work out week last week, so I am starting to feel like I am getting in shape. I am looking at the the list of folks interested in trying out for 6TM during Mixed Easterns. Weirs...barely any folks there from last year.


Frances and I stayed up and watched the Survivor Finale last night.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

BUDA Youth Program: Spring 2005

I have been working as BUDA’s Youth Educator since May of 2002. My job is to go into middle and high schools and teach clinics in the PE classes. The clinics have a simple agenda: teach the students backhand and forehand throws, review the basic rules of the game, and then play. I also provide the teachers with a Teaching Kit, which includes 10 discs, 8 cones, a skills and drills manual and curriculum for teaching Ultimate, other BUDA literature, and UPA rulebooks. Our hope is to teach the teachers how to be confident in teaching the sport. The clinics and Teaching Kit are provided free of charge!

This spring I am running, for the third time, clinics at Newton North High School and Lincoln-Sudbury High School. I consider these schools to be my flagship programs as all the pieces have come together in a very positive way. First, both of these schools have enthusiastic faculty. At NNHS, Bill McAndrews and his staff have set up a program in which I teach Ultimate to their entire first year class. They are welcoming to me, and have specifically stated that the clinics have made them more confident in teaching the sport. At LSHS, Chris Belmont has been integrating Ultimate into his curriculum to the point at which the agenda for this spring will be advanced tactics, and opportunities for a lifetime of Ultimate. Wow. Second, both these schools have robust club Ultimate teams. The teams have, on occasion, served as assistant teachers during the clinics. I love this. It legitimizes what I do as it is easier for the students to buy into something that their peers are passionate about. It also provides recruiting opportunities for the club teams.

I have just completed three days and 15 classes at Newton North, and I will be at LSHS on May 23-24. Here are some observations about teaching the sport in the PE setting:

1) The skills of the sport are hard- Throwing and catching provide an impediment to understanding and enjoying the sport. Obvious statement. I spend about 25 minutes teaching backhands and forehands and having the kids throw in pairs. My main goal is to show them the range of skills needed to be successful. The lack of throwing skills makes jumping into games difficult, and I sometimes worry that the quality of play is too low for enjoying the sport. I check in with the teachers, however, and most of the time they feel that the “look” of the sport is similar to other field sports that they teach.

2) Inertia- Many of the kids literally do not want to move. I tried some drills in my first few clinics. Bad idea. There is no context for understanding why a drill is useful. Sometimes I think a highlight video would be useful so the kids could at least see the sport.

3) Some classes are just not into it- I have to have a pretty thick skin sometimes. I notice that the classes later in the day are especially hard. The kids lack focus and interest. Regardless of the time period, many classes disintegrate into the boys running around and the girls standing around in a clump in the middle of the field. We work on that.

On the other hand, I had a great class the other day. Six on six, indoors in a field house, and, as I had a volunteer, each team had an experienced player. It worked great. Every kid got a lot of touches, and there was lots of running and good play. I set my expectations pretty low. My goal is to have a couple of kids each day really get it.

4) Self-officiating is met with skepticism- I make sure the kids are clearly aware of self-officiating and Spirit of the Game. I think that these aspects of the sport can provide an opportunity for responsibility and accountability that is positive for kids at this age. The kids are skeptical, and rightly so. I do not spend much time digging into how self-officiating works, as I feel it would bog down the class, but I do provide them with a few examples (stall count, marking fouls, etc) that can at least provide a framework for understanding that self-officiating does not mean chaos.

5) The flight of the disc is appealing- I try to find a kid or two that are willing and interested in doing some running. It is pretty easy to tell with a quick survey of the field as the kids are practicing their throws. I might jump in and throw a bit, and as I do, start to make the throws such that the kid has to run for it a bit. This quickly moves to the kid running long for a big throw. A lot of kids just love this (I did when I was that age). I am certain that they flight of the disc and running it down is appealing to us. I find it a great way to hook the kids on the sport.


Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mother's Day: Menu for my Wife

I enjoy cooking. I recently received Ming Tsai's latest cook book, and the real unique thing is that it is organized around the featured sauces and marinades. So, for example, I am going to prepare steak tips with a garlic peppercorn sauce. This sauce can be used with lobster (recipe is in the book), and when I sampled that dish at Ming's restaurant, Blue Ginger, it was wonderful. I will also use the garlic peppercorn sauce with sauted bok choi and portabella mushrooms. Rice and steamed beet greens will round out the meal.

My grandmother gave us some wonderful mocha fudge sauce, so we will have that over ice cream.

My wife does not make that big a deal out of Mother's Day. In past year's, I have frequently gone to tournaments on this weekend. Ruth did not seem perturbed by that, but it will be nice to be around for the day...for once.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Lyrics to "Stick That Butt Up Your Ass"


Here are the full lyrics:

So we're driving in my truck
its a really nice Prius
on my way to Chris' house
cause he really wants to see us
I'm moving through the traffic
like a real pro, but at the red light
I ease up to a Hummer, what a bummer, whoa
its blocks out the sun
and it says I don't give a s***
but that's good
cause it makes me feel good about myself
and what do you know
down comes the tinted
like a door to the sanctum
like a church
like the Sistene Chapel
and god's arm, she's poised, curved and ready, comes out and meets the sun
then in slo-mo, I see a little flick
the butt arcs in the light like a comet and it lands on the hood of my hippy love
the light turns green and I'm eating her dust
and I just burn.


I really can't fathom such casual arrogance
and disregard for others when you toss
that butt. I'm walking in the building through a pack
of dogs. I'm looking at the ground.
I'm looking in the trash. I'm looking at
the little turds on the ground. Hey, why stop there?
Just hike up the skirt, drop your trou. Take a crap in the
street, take a dump on the sidewalk.
Who gives a f*&^?
We won't be around when this place goes down.



Monday, May 02, 2005

NE Regionals Report

The Whiptails came into Regionals seeded 10th (out of 16 teams), so we were scheduled to play BU in the first round. We lost to BU 8-7 at Sectionals, so we felt comfortable that we would give them a game....and possibly have a shot to win it.

The weather was rainy and cold. Our game started at 9:00, so it was difficult for the girls to get warmed up. I think we did do a good job of getting ready to play, and it showed as we took half 7-4. We were having success with our trapping cup zone, and our zone O was calm and efficient. The main goal for the second half was to not let the thought that "we could win this game" tighten us up for the second half. We continued to play well, but BU did make a nice run...which we were expecting. We ended up winning 11-9. It was a big win for us.

Next came Dartmouth (seeded #2). Very good team. I told my girls that we should expect that they could break the mark, throw well, play hard D, etc, but that they would give us openings. We hung in their with them until 6-4. Then they broke us and took half. They adjusted well in the second half to our trapping cup, and were very successful in getting the disc to folks that were sitting in the holes. They went on a 4-0 run. I threw in the towel, and we opened up the roster to try to get folks to warm up.

Down to the losers bracket we go. We play Brown B and crush them 13-1.

Next is Amherst in the game for the top 6 on Sunday (3 teams go to Nationals). It felt good that we had made it as far as we did when we had 14 seniors in 03. We came out, however, playing just like we were happy to be there. Our Zone O suddenly collapsed and before you know it, it is 5-1 Amherst. We go on a run and tie it at 5's. It then becomes an upwind downwind affair in which they are scoring to go up by 1, and then we tie. At 9-8 Amherst, we are going downwind, but turn it over within 20 yards of our goal. They convert after a few turns, and it 10-8..game to 12. That took the wind out of sails, and Amherst closed it out 12-8. I think the girls really wanted to get home and get some food.

I am really proud of our group effort. I think the team really came together and we played up to our potential.