Thursday, July 28, 2005

state of the luke.

I'm going to make a departure from count-baiting, at least as long as he is in a potentially litigious mood.

foot still gimpy. so freakin hot
I woke up at 5:30, so i actually had breakfast before morning frisbee. there is nothing more inspiring than seeing some 8th grade going into hs students w/ a month of experience stabbing hammers and winging blades... and gleefully arguing the line calls in hotbox... great young athletes and runners... one of these kids is one of those, juggle on the unicycle, and runs like a 2:15 800... 5 nuthin, hundred and nuthin... literally.

we are winning states this year. in frisbee, i mean.

45 minute run yesterday, more frisbee this evening... man it's hot. tarzan himself couldn't stand this kind of heat. but at least its a dry heat...

cheerios for breakfast, i'm going to have a mid morning burrito now... from the super burrito... mmmm....

looking forward to school, doing a lot of lesson planning right now.

recently read: freakonomics, a rebel economicistisitist blah blah. pretty good.
harry potter and the magic thing. I liked that one.
the long emergency. kuntzhauer. something. actually, that's been a few weeks. but it's still checked out. hmm.
Ghost Soldiers, which is being made into a movie called the Great Raid...
Tom Clancy's stupid Something or another and The Something Sanction or Covenant or Identity or Conspiracy by Ludlum. Hey I admit I read 'em, but I don't have to be proud of the junk...
Just finished a history of Stalingrad (Battle of) called 199 Days.

I need to start concentrating on School stuff... American government, US History, Modern World History... that kind of thing...

that is all.

Friday, July 22, 2005

le tour de... freedom

This message goes out to Frenchman and blogonaut Alex 'le compte' de Frondeville (which means 'Frondeville' in english).

Do you hate us for our way of life? Or for our legacy of superior cycling?

It must be one or the other.

The French are quite indignant over Lance's dominance... you'd think, given the state of things since Napoleon, that another mark in the 'L' column would be, well, just no big deal.

What gets me are the absurd, desperate attempts to besmirch this great man, with ludicrous allegations of drug use.

Lance has repeatedly stated, "I have never tested positive for drug use."
There. Clear as day.
Never. Tested. Positive.

Come on, what more do you want?!!

To demonstrate my solidarity, I would like, at this time to state unambiguously, that I have NEVER TESTED POSITIVE FOR PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS.

Couldn't be more clear. That's why I'm making this bold statement at this time. I want my legacy to be unblemished by the taint of wrongdoings. As opposed to the wrongdoings of taint... which I don't want to get into.

Monday, July 18, 2005


One night this winter I had a dream. I dreamt I had pancakes. And that morning, you know what? Yes, that's right, I had pancakes. Yes, dreams can come true. I like to share that one with my students before a race.

Over and over again.

Woke up yesterday w/ a new owwy. Pain on the inside of my ankle. It's either because my bike shoes aren't stiff enough to handle a 25 mile mountain bike ride... or because I spent a lot of time in flip flops. Hmm. Technically, it's not the shoe's fault it's my foot's fault. But I'm going to buy some better bike shoes.

Went for a 4.5 mile run with HS xc team this am, soaked my legs in the river. Took a nap.

Hit count way up. This gives meaning to my life.

Spent 3 hours today working on my online course dealing with Teaching AP Government (US). Pretty excited about teaching that... it will be a lot of work.

Found a new breakfast that I like. It's a smoothie... but with cheerios blended in. Nice higher level of bulk, and should keep that cholesterol down. For sweetness, use honey nut. I like a 50/50 mix.

I think I might go home and make some pancakes. Ice the foot. Got a beach tournament this weekend. My first ever.

Remember, the lesson of pancakes.
Dreams can come true... and...
They seem like they're going to be awesome, but as soon as you have one bite too many, you feel like you're eating sponge.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


The Blogosphere report...

Jim has a list of drills he likes. It includes Seegerball, which sounds like rugby cum schtick. (note when we play schtick, getting tagged on the opponents side has a consequence, involving a sprint)
Idris is talking about shoes, and bashing guys he cut. We miss the Mike O'Dowd bashing.
Alex is talking about why good teams don't go to bad tournaments. A corollary (or obverse, or converse or something) is that, it's really hard to go to good tournaments without a team. Remember the glory years of everyother year club worlds... ah, good ol' summercamp. This will be a topic of it's own.
Dix (who I don't really know, in the sense that i don't remember him camped out over a keg a la the others referenced) started strong w/ some great stories. I think he stopped blogging in 1989, or March, or as soon as Jim gave him a link... It appears he's been removed from Jim's page.
Marshall Goff has a good page, and his own domain. But he seems to have a variety of interests other than frisbee. This is incomprehensible to me.
The Atlanta people have a blog on a variety of frisbee questions. It appears to be printed on parchment paper, so it is classy. They are killing me on hit counts, so they must be doing something right. They did link to the Atlanta message board, which is big.

state of the luke

todays entry are random musings... just got done w/ a 2.5 hour ride, and i'm all endorphined up...

since i'm not playing any serious ultimate these days (the very occasional tourney) but lots of 'swilltimate' here are some observations of swilltimate.

i find it personally very difficult to try in swilltimate. that said, each of the 5 or 6 times i'm playing each week in local pickup/coaching/ whatever, I'll try once or twice... I usually attribute this to niggling little ache or pain... but i've noticed that I niggle and ache a lot more when there is nothing on the line... why?

the hs kids are more fun to play with. their not really that much worse than more experienced players, and their attitude is a lot more refreshing. it's truly fun for them, they have no 'baggage' so fun pickup can actually be fun pickup.

as opposed to 'grown up' swilltimate which often involves 'the guy who keeps running backwards 20 yds to pickup the disc' and thinks he's the greatest handler in the game.

we'll call him 'alex'.

that said, I like throwing the frisbee; so I'll keep playing ______timate, in whatever form it takes.

I'm still on the verge of picking up my very on copy of jim parinella's book, just as I'm on the verge of paying that library fine. But I especially want to know how it addresses 'percentage based offense.'

I.e., I know Jim is a big fan of stats and percentages... I wonder how deep the stats go? For me, the best offense (strategy, and instantaneous decision) is the one that has the best percentage of leading to a goal...

the obvious one, is that if your team completes only 70% of their throws, but you've got one guy who has a decent long huck (call it a 50% throw), it's obviously better to huck it the length of the field.

Now there is a sliding scale too, if there is a decent 70% break mark swing, and a 50% long shot, which should you do? If you turn the swing over, the opponent has wonderful field position, and at least a brief personnel advantage...

another source of irritation is the big dump. I love a good reset, wherever it goes too, but there is some large percentage of players/ teams that lose 10 yards with every dump, w/ no perceptible gain in field position (laterally). Why don't you turn the dump into a very short gainer? Or at least a minimal loss. The classic case of this was the Spokane national Championships. The Stanford Women's zone O was the BIG dump to someone in the middle of the field and 15 yards deep, then on to the far side. By mid game, UCSD was just running straight accross the field to mark the far handler.

There are some obvious problems with this.
And unlike many bad decisions in sport, there is an object lesson here, if outcome counts.

What's my point? Hell if I know... Most of what follows is derivative. I just want to write it in my own words.
A good offense, to start, should,
1) have some simple plan. go towards the goal, don't lose yardage, don't freak out, don't hold onto it. Unless you are Frank, then it's go backwards, be a martyr, every concept that someone not named tex winters came up with is dumb.
1a)gain as much yardage as possible with every pass
2) apply risk/return thought to risk passes... i.e., risky passes for a dump are kind of stupid. a risky huck, or a zone busting hammer that leads to a fast break... perhaps a good idea...
3) Develop a progression of throws for your players to support your strategery. Jim talked about this, I think... And structure drills for this (this is mostly for newer teams, I think... but maybe for all)... I.e., if your progression after a swing is, look huck, then reset it with as little loss as possible, then look huck again (maybe not the most sophisticated offense, but I suspect it's won many a league title)... then set up a drill w/ a thrower marker, a cutter/defender pair in the deep, and a cutter / defender to get it on the high count... I GUESS you could hit the deep guy coming under if the huck is not there, but people always drop that one any way... (just kidding)
4) remind the team that the good players get to do whatever they want, their creativity (foolishness) is what keeps the dumb repetetive stuff open and workable...
5) I think there is a lot to be said for doing a circuit of drills. see Jim's blog... for list of good drills. But do the ones you like, if you like one of the one's he doesn't. Running a practice as a 'camp' with a mini game, a trap game, etc... and move through them can kill time, get touches, etc.
6) deconstruct, personally, with a team mate, or as a team how well you did this. this is where you can use stats... and maybe create stats for what you are trying to do. like 'dumb, difficult break mark dumps' vs. 'risky, panicky hucks'
Hopefully your plan is a little better than that, it's just an example.
7) I'll come back to this one day and edit it into some actual plan for making an offense.

Monday, July 11, 2005

losers perspective

a new post...

well... jim and alex are posting like mad men.

but I have some thoughts.

recently, I played 2 tournaments, and was sucessful, as an individual. not, as the title indicates, as a team.

and here is what I think.

Based on the philosophy of jim, I

1) took what was there
In a tie game w/ portland, my mark turned his head twice. The first time, I suddenly realized an advantage. I'd like to think that if I were 'on my game' I would have immediately struck... but I recognized an advantage... and the 2nd time... I caught a goal.

Lesson... You can be 'first step fast' if you wait for your defender to look aside.
Lesson... if mom had raised me faster... dammit mom.

2) moved them
I would wait for the play to set up. This is a problem if you are away from the disc. Sometimes your 'handlers' are helpfully closing off all lanes. To make it happen... move around. Vertically. So I would go upfield, by a step, jab, feint, etc. All the while... seeing the disc. And often, the opponent would look askance, and at the same time the space would be there. Big gainer.

Some times, the space and timing was there, but the thrower was not...

don't panic. move to another spot.
go eat faster food.

3) do what you have to do.
sometimes, it comes down to a catch... a diving continuation.
make the play.

It seems that a key to winning the game is to make 'jordanesque' plays ... and no, jordan, i'm not talking about you... unless that was your role...

just don't have to make them often.
unless you are jordan...

of course, in addition to being a supremely gifted athlete, he also had a sweet jumper that made defenders have to come out on him... leading to posters.

so can it be argued that the less often you have to make plays, the more you win.

pointless ramble over.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

here's the rsd post for potlatch.

in what is likely to ruin Idris' day, here is the content from rsd repotlatch...

just so I can have a copy for editing later...

day 1) roadtrip to redmond. a caravan of three cars, one w/ a baby. a gazillion stops are made. arrive in redmond, jump out of car, as will and joanne pull in literally behind them. off to seattle.

day 2) discover that we have a 2 game bye. very happy. most of the team gets the memo, but not blaine. but we TELL him we're at the fields... and entertain ourselves when he calls by yelling out in the back ground... throw me that frisbee... etc. Pretend that the kid is there by yelling 'bwah WAH wah blah wah wah' in the background. If you know kid, you can imagine that it would be very possible to convince someone that that was kid yelling in the background. Arrive at fields, learn that blaine DID in fact believe that kid was in washington, and at fields. And had been telling every member of the team he could find that kid's here.

Bandwagon, wearing yellow jerseys and cycling shorts (for the most part) goes 3-0 on day one. We watched the 2nd half of USA vs. Candada after chilling out for an hour after our last game. It was a good game. The weather had been misty, so a bunch of us went back into the city for sleeping.

Annecdote of day: Apparently, someone from SanDiego got so drunk that they couldn't find their tent. Also, they couldn't keep the contents of their stomach where they belong... so, at 5:00 a.m. the rough equivalent of a small bear was alternately vomiting near, on, and in a variety of other people's tents. Then, the guy would claw his way into a tent, and pass out. Leading to people yelling, "GET OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT! THIS IS NOT FUNNY, ASSHOLE! GET OUT" Apparently this went on for some time.

This type of thing is why I generally prefer to lame out, and return to the city.

Day 3) In a dramatic contrast from day 2 (which was day 1 of play), we found out that we had to play at 9, not 9:30 against the Brownish/Padaeiaish team. It ended up being 9:30 any way. And it was not against them. We had them in round 5. Highlights, down 7-5 vs. some team, we went on a 10-2 run.

We then played booty rumpin snoopy w/ Hector and Kyle, and Misha, and SRV and a few other players I didn't know as well... Nip and tuck until 10-10, and then we won 15-10.

The Bus ride to the Party. Apparently, 85% of the Bus thinks I'm an asshole. 10% thought I was a good guy. 3% undecided. 2% margin of error. I know this because I took a vote. I'd like to point out the high degree of voter participation/ candidate recognition.

We had to serve food for the tournament, which involved breaking in line, since we were late getting there. I'd like to think that those who voted 'asshole' were perhaps chagrinned when it came time to have the server decide how much salmon to dish out.

Then at some point someone pulled the fire alarm. Since I work in a school, I have a pretty good idea of what a modern annunciator sounds like, in contrast to the old 'school bell' type alarms. I can only hope that idiots who pull said alarms are legitimately ignorant of the pain of a ginormous shrieking decibel count... aside from the tremendous inconvenience of what it takes to turn the things off (like firefighters, and shit).

There seemed to be some people still partying at the fields. I was pretty wiped out, so I went to sleep. However, my sleeping bag was this thin, THIN sleeping bag liner, so I spent several fitful hours freezing my ass off/ alternating w/ massive muscle cramps.

Day 4) Sunday dawns. Ate a large breakfast. Played Humbolt early. Turned out to be a little easier than I thought it would be: they can put together some good games. I think the 3 day tournament hurts things. I pulled up lame w/ some kind of groin cramp. I'm thinking now that it was actually that I dislocated my pubic symphisis. Yes, this is real. We won the first game, though, and then lost to Sleveless in Seattle (like a So-cal-ish) team by 3.

Left in the middle of the semis, w/ USA down 11-10 to vagabonds, Canada crushing Sleveless. Stayed awake long enough to choke down 2 whoppers, and a jr. whopper, and some onion rings, and then slept for the next 250 miles.

Day 5) Technically trip over, but woke up at 8 to go get the highschool XC kids started playing frisbee, so I got few throws in. Walked home went to sleep for 4 hours.

Hip cracked, so I think the groin pull is cured.
40 seconds to my library time ends.

the end.

nothing original to add...

groin is healing nicely, coreworkout and 5 mile run this morning. found 10 bucks on the ground. muscle spasm in leg, unrelated. might be time to put veggies on the menu...

maybe an easy road ride today...

or just read a book...

haven't eaten. I think I'm going to go convert that cash into mexican food from the super burrito.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

potlatch... 1

nice luck tonight. my ride turned into a caravan... which means, a stop anytime anyone in 3 cars has too pee. a 5 hour drive turned into a 7 hour drive. but...

the nice thing was, as my ride to seattle dropped me off... my seattle connection literally pulled into the pancake house parking lot in redmond... right behind them.

well there were a few cell phone calls involved. but the nice thing was, my ride from bend was 1 mile from their hotel, and my ride into town was coming off a sucessful thrift venture that netted appropriate lance armstrong style bike jerseys for our team...

bandwagon 05. we are lance.

although, we probably should be ullrich.