Monday, February 26, 2007

Scotland, w/ boring, what I ate today

uhm, i think i'm up to 75 ski days. today was a 30 minute run... i don't know how far. more than 3.5miles, less than 5. i'd estimate 4 miles. this weekend, a trip to McCall Idaho for the Payette marathon. I'm not sure why 30km is a marathon: I think the Greek tradition would have died after the battle if that were the case, phillipides might have lived a ripe old anonymous life as a farmer (although, as an olympic champ, he would have been afforded god-like status as a farmer)...

anyway, ski'd the race in 1:40. in an epic display of nerdery, i've determined that among the 30 odd racers who ski'd this race, and the 32 km i ski'd 2 weeks earlier, i made up ground or beat the ones in front of me, and put a bigger gap on the ones behind me. so i'm still improving relative to the herd, but i still suck. the good news, is w/ room to improve, i think i can get to a respectable level in oh, 2 or 3 years.

my pace was 3.2 min/km, which is faster than i skied 10 km earlier this year (3.7 min/km). my fastest measured time was a time trial on rippin' fast snow, and i ski'd that in about 3.1 min/km w/ no warmup, and a lot left at the end. this weekend, a race, and with heavy snow right now (like 1 foot a day) it's unlikely conditions will give me a PR.

the snow in town is putting HS frisbee on hold a bit: the fields here don't tolerate much moisture. So I've got 3 more races, the 10km, then in about 3 weeks, there's a 15 km classic on saturday and a 15 or 30 km on Sunday. I haven't decided what i'll do. Probably either both short races, or the long race on sunday.

Then, if snow cooperates, i'll probably cut back to fewer, longer, slower skis to finish the season and hone my technique, film myself, midweek runs (difficult to ski in the evenings due to the effects of melt/refreeze turning the snow to icy death), and HOPEFULLY late season powder skiing w/ no crowds for the month of april and may.

i should probably start getting on the bike, too. i will probably focus on biking and the odd road race this summer, coach, and try to go to a tournament or 2 this summer (solstice/potlatch)...

this was my first experience using 'HF' wax. that means High Flourine, and it's what every 'real' racer would use. You can go even more expensive than that... but that's sort of beyond my willingness to do at this point: i mean, when i'm 200 out of 1000, or 37 out of 80... it's kind of trivial. if i get a little more competetive, i'll be more inclined to go to the trouble.

OK, fine, some frisbee content.

I went to Worlds in Scotland in 1999. My team was too bad. And that was the name. Partying ensued. I played OK, this was sort of the transitional period in my development from fairly fast Atlanta player to stupid slow Seattle player. These were the 3 years when i traveled a ton to tournaments, and developed some skills, some understanding of the game, and had a lot of fun. I was well on my to becoming a suprisingly effective slow player. I like to think i developed the same crafty moves as Jerry Rice. I think it's fairer to say that like Jerry rice in the nadir of his career, I have developed the abillity to juke all over the place with out moving anywhere. Sometimes the defense moves more than me and i miraculously get open. Combine that with the fact that i'm left handed (bordering on incompetently ambidextrous, I can actually cause turnovers with both hands), and voila. Marginal effectiveness.

Anyway, Scotland. This was maybe my favorite worlds ever. St. Andrews is beautiful, the pubs were great, I had no real pressure to win or lose. The weather was what I assume to be traditionally Scottish. Wet, and flipping cold all the time. And basically, all 150 teams would party together every night.

After our last loss (Actually, we may have won our last game, some inconsequential seeding match), ribaldry continued. All but 4 teams (the top 2 boy and girl teams) were done, and it was shennaniriffic.

Eileen and Timmy and I were wandering around late at night/early morning, enjoying the relatively warm (50 F) evening and the questionable decision was made to get to the top of the old chapel, the tallest building in st. andrews to see the sun rise over the Firth of Forth. Well that was squashed by the walls and gates and barbed wire... so we headed back to the main campus. Looking at the old dorm where most of us were staying, I decided that the central tower of this building (like, an old castle tower) was the SECOND tallest building in St. Andrews, and that would do.

We found the closet door that contained the stairs, and up we went... in pitch black, illuminated by watch lights, we found the top door. Secured by a tiny little lock, like a luggage lock, we headed down the stairs where either EILEEN ACCIDENTALLY PUSHED OPEN a secret panel. Like pitch dark. Totally lucky. This opened on to an attic door. There was a window accross the attic, faintly revealed by the predawn light glowing behind it. I walked accross the joists, and when I arrived at the window, i noticed i was covered in cobwebs. No one had been here for years. The window was openable. I climbed out, shimmy-d around to the roof pitch, and there, 20 feet away, was the top few feet of the turret. At 6'2, I was just able to reach the low part of the parapet, and was able to chin up, and help my fellow miscreants up.

Spread out below us was all of St. Andrews, and the beautiful calm waters of the Firth (i think it means Bay or something). Slowly the sun came up. Awesome.

We descended, I jogged home, and went and watched the last matches in Torrential rain. Quidditch-erriffic.

What made the trip even better was spending another 7 days hiking and hitching around scotland, but that memory was great. Oh, for a camera...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

upcoming frisbee related content...

in a time when darkness ruled the earth...
and snow draped the land...
one voice spoke out for freedom and justice...

naaah, but here's some upcoming ultimate related content...

my famed scotland secret door story...
the wallet (already done, but i mean, who doesn't love hearing about the Miracle on Ice, unless you are russian)
the taco bell story (kind of gross. low on the list)
my domination of low level co-ed and hat tournaments. 7-1, and the one came on a call made literally after i'd slapped hands w/ 5 players of the 'soon to be winning team'


luke on cleats
luke on frisbee clothing for the lazy and cold averse, but don't want to look nanooky
luke on eye black/contacts and glasses

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

here ya go little orphan annie

At 11:09 PM , LittleOrphanAnnie44 said...
Lemme help you with the Ultimate-related commentary.
Please post (or several posts) on the difference in Sockeye then (mid to late 90s) to now (the '04-'06 teams).

i moved to seattle in dec/jan 96/97 with a plan to put my extensive educational background (9 years of college and a ba in history) to work in the booming seattle economy.

seattle was coming off it's finals appearance, i was coming off a good showing w/ atlanta's chain lightning...

my tryout was going OK, and i 1st reinjured a bad hamstring from the fall, nursed it back, played well on the winning side of a kleinmann split squad sockeye team, then pulled my groin 3 weeks before world.

conceiveably, like the other 'tryouts' i could have made the worlds squad, but i'd already committed to all parties to playing w/ atlanta at worlds.

sockeye went on to win the famed uglitimate game, chain was acceptable,and i played well, but i was cut, the thursday before the flight to chicago. i'd already paid for the ticket. it was a bummer. sockeye went to it's 3rd final

the next year, i vaguely attempted to try out. i think i was cut by email this time. sockeye was starting to attrit. a number of the old guard had faded. if i recall correctly. furious appeared to tank a game to make the dirt road easier, and sockeye fell at regionals.

i went to that 98 sandiego nationals as a spectator, a last minute decision to walk out the office door and catch a bus to the airport, and fly southwest to sandi. as i recall, i picked up a car ride w/ some frisbee tossers in the airport, and spent the weekend, spectating, drinking and couch surfing.

oh for the days of high income.

the next years 99, 2000 were relatively low years for seattle. still competetive on the national scene, the strength of the region proved too much.

the spring of 2001 found me again mired in ski season, w/ no real desire to 'properly' try out.

a dissapointing spring led to the collapse of the team's leadership structure in early summer. the arrival of john 'the kid' hammond and some good will i'd somehow put together by playing w/ a group of more talented players in the past two years (will henry, mike caldwell, dylan) and some occasional pickup success w/ various sub-sockeye groups (tribe, w/ chris page, D'arcy, Barney Ahouse, Gary Brady) combined to position me as the proverbial player to be named later.

My first season w/ sockeye almost ended as quickly as it began. Playing 500 w/ MC before the first Kleinmann game, i wrenched my groin. Depressed and frustrated, i gave serious consideration to getting in my car and driving home.

But i wisely reconsidered, made myself as valuable as possible as i could as a sideline player. High quality health insurance proved a role, as it turned out i had not a groin pull, but a dislocated pubic symphisis. They video'd me, and i may to this day be a display dvd in PT schools around the country... I had also torn my pcl l in the previous year, but rigorous (3 hours a day, no kiddin) pt, and some luck got me back on the field after the groin thing in a couple weeks. My first season, as slow as i've ever played in my life, my role was zone marker...

we had a poor showing at nationals, but a timely mcl strain allowed me to skip tryouts, and ski all spring... and i came back to be an effective, albeit limited player....

i had already commited to grad school, and it seemed like i would miss worlds. but somehow fates conspired, and despite missing the 3 weeks of practice prior to hawaii, i found myself on a plane to hawaii.

without my credit card. another story.

at worlds, i played, again, in a role, but had almost no turnovers, and in the bronze medal game, had a great line (like 3 goals and 3 assists in 7 points, no To's), and combined w/ steady play all weekend, the team kept me as mascot, and dependable reserve, despite the fact that i was commuting 7 hours for practice.

the next year, my final year, i finished grad school, and lived off loans and the last of my retirement fund. somehow i was promoted to subcaller, probably based on the assumtion (correct) that i would not over play myself compared to other players.

we were all dissapointed w/ our 5/6 finish, but my mom enjoyed the game:

highlight: catching the goal at half in our pool play victory over ring, there's a great shot of augie chucking me in the back as i catch the goal. my mom saw the pic, and emailed, 'look, i think that was a foul'...

by then, i was an impoverished substitute teacher living in ski town oregon, and the abillity to even try out on the new look sockeye was out of the question...

the rest is history. voting the weakest link off survivor island, sockeye rose to greatness

Monday, February 19, 2007

it must be college season...

...cuz my hit count is off the charts... hundreds of daily opportunities to have new readers ask...
why is this guy on

well... the reason... is, i don't know.

but if you read the archives, you'll find nearly 10% of my content deals with ultimate.
this is somewhat different than jim parinella's blog.
where you can go to find out exactly how wrong i am about my actual ultimate content percentage.

but over the next month or two, i'll be sporadically coaching ultimate (sporadically, because, we'll practice no more than twice per week, and i have no problem cancelling practice when it snows. and snow it does, and frequently).

speaking of snow, a couple of awesome ski workouts this morning...
this am, a 5.5 km timetrial, 16 minutes... fastest ever measured workout, and i went relatively easy. the success came from the conditions, which were RIPPING fast, and the fact that my technique has improved enough that i'm able finally to go relatively fast on the flats and gentle downhills. on these terrains, it's necessary to accelerate, and it's been hard to keep the technique together... then another 10km at an easy pace...

then i went home, played guitar for an hour, read about the 10th mountain division, ate, ate more... did some laundry...

and went for another 18km ski. interestingly to me, at least, it had snowed about 2 inches... much, much slower... easy, sustained pace...

that's all

Sunday, February 18, 2007

take meat who you're lead ear.

I now reveal my true form. All your base are belong to us. My list of demands is simple. I'd like jambalaya for dinner tommorrow night. And peace in the middle east. What you say? No, I have no idea how difficult it is to find good quality chorizo in central oregon. Nor do I care.

Aren't photo programs fun.

Summit wins states. In my inspirational speech at the team meeting Friday night, I pointed out that this more than just a ski race. This was a chance to come heavy, go hard, go home w/ hardware, and be honored by having a 50% shot at getting their name in the paper mispelled.

How funny was it when the actual newspaper mistake was to List the event as occuring at a different mountain, some 1.5 hours away.

I served as the announcer. For those of you who don't know me, this is part of my ongoing plan to overcome my terrible fear of public speaking. Today, a 4 hour mix of mp3's, that literally ended the moment the awards ceremony began. The past two days have been miserable ski-wise. Like 7 or 10 km per day because of coaching duties.

Friday, i went for my first run of the year (29 minutes, no idea of distance), and first unibike of 07 on my sweet new 26" unibike (full size MTB wheel, instead of the usual 24" (BMX size) wheel. Rusty at both is an understatement.

The races were awesome, well run, smiles around, good results. There was an unfortunate incident w/ kids jostling for position which led to some necessary, but unwanted civil conversation and hopefully a result that was at least 'not unpalatable' for all.

We not only won, we dominated. Near perfect score for guys, girls missing top girl and 2/3 girl also crushed, albeit, a little less handily.

Little break, then frisbee coaching.

Tommorrow, ski, run.

That is all. Fullfill my demands, or meet the wrath of our technological superiority.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

heere comes the frisbee

I think there is a picture here. I've just changed my blog layout. I assume that this means that everything i've every written has been published. sorry idris. you seem to have dealt w/ such tribulations well in the past.

but in the meantime, whassup. couple races recently, a 30 km, and a 15 km, mixed bag of results... i'm generally skiing a lot better. 3 more years and i may know what i'm doing. my theory on this whole deal is that all the skills are learnable. it just takes some people (me) more time than others.

as is the consequence of coaching, i'm in a taper period corresponding w/ the team's gear up for states. for me, it's the middle of the skiing, although, racing wise, there is only like5 weeks left. There's 2 more 30km's, and a 10km, and a 15km classic. Hamstring a little strained, but sofar no biggy.

HS Frisbee starts next week. My focus, or theme for the year is to challenge the kids to learn by teaching... so, i'm thinking, for example, to do a drill where the kids throw for a bit, then make a correction of the other thrower, then repeat. May be a flop, but i want the kids to get owner ship. Also, i've gotten too drawn into to running around out there: I'll do it a little to model the habits I want, but not enough to cause them to get used to me having any specific role on the field. I.e., unlike Kramer, I don't want to dominate the jujitsu field. Plus, I'm getting a few players w/ 2 and 3 years now of experience, and they need the opportunity to dominate.

Interesting, I'm definitely exited about the team, but frankly, even as a diletantte ski racer, it's really my main focus. I'm currently so burned w/ my insane teaching loads, the volunteer hours, etc. (etc means i had to change rooms, have 2 classes of 47 plus etc), i'd love to have the time to be a wee bit more selfish... i.e., i'd love to start the frisbee coaching after spring break. oh well. just a mild kvetch. i know for a FACT that the first time i step on the field to toss the disc around, i'll be right back in it mentally.

General marks of late: 30 km in 1:32, skate race, all down hill except where it wasn't, fast snow except where it wasn't. area to work on: like a dummass, i set a goal of 1:35, and my mad math skills had me skiing to time, instead of to feel. skiing harder, a couple minutes faster, expensive wax a couple min faster, a taper (if i want), a little faster. All trivial, but at 2something out of 1000 skiers, i'd like to be top 100 next year.

15km race, 48 min? doesn't seem fast, but it was an acceptable result. that's about 3.2min/km, and in a straight up 10km skate race this year (early) i was 3.7min/km. In this race you change from classic to skate mid race, i didn't bother to brush my skis, i had some friends show up from atlanta at midnight.

There is an upcoming 10km where you ski the same course twice, in december, and in march. last year i'll reveal, at risk of disclosing my lack of talent, that i skied 44, then 38 (divide by 10 for min/km pace). I went 37 this december. I had set the preseason goal of 32 in march. Given recent performances (sim course, sim snow), i'm actually resetting my goal of 32 to 30 minutes. Frankly, either of these would be a rather ridiculous improvement from start of season to end. My 6 minutes of improvement last year was the 'best of bend' and if i can do it twice, moving up from sucktastic to medium tasic to pretty good tastic... I'd like to be skiing in the high/mid 20's before i peak. world class, probably in the low 20's, i think. in any event, i'll probably spend a little money on my remaining 3 ski races (wax wise. it would not be out of the question to use a flourinated wax and spend as much as 20 dollars on your last layer of wax for a race. you might wax 3 times. embarassingly, while i'm dilligent about waxing, i'm usually dealing w/ kids, and generally too frugal, (and too mediocre) to spend cash on wax that might speed me up by low single digit percentages. )

next time. frisbee time.

peace out.