Sunday, August 27, 2006


Well what do you know, we won our soccer game! It helps significantly that we had our entire team show up, and that we picked up one additional female player, so for once, we had subs (for the men) and 3 females that are really all on our team.

This set us up for a 5-4 victory which included a score for us in the 37th minute (it's a 40 minute game), and a series of two saves by me late in the 38th minute. It felt good to get a finally get a win when starting at goalkeeper, especially after it felt like we were so close last week.

I even got some kudos from Raul, who, as far as I can tell from my internet searching, played keeper in college at MIT. I didn't have any saves off of my eyeballs this week, although I did take a bit of a kick to the ribs near the end of the game while (successfully) diving for the ball as someone was taking a shot. One of our defenders was not pleased that the ref didn't call a penalty on the guy that kicked me, but as far as I can tell it was a pretty clean play. I got to it only a split second before he would have kicked it, and everyone was getting pretty aggressive near the end of the game anyway, so I don't blame the ref for not making a call.

The image here is from the movie "Victory" which Dan Bartnicki and I enjoyed quite a bit when we were kids. I mean, there is no better adversary than Nazis, and being able to earn your freedom from a prisoner-of-war camp by defeating them in a soccer match is really at the top of the chart for 8-year-old boy soccer players, especially when the movie stars both Sylvester Stallone AND Pele! LOL.

Monday, August 21, 2006

They call me One-Eyed Pete... Arrrrr!

Last night was our 4th soccer game of the season, which we managed to lose again. However, for the first time since we won in week 1, we were actually in the game, people played like they wanted to win, and I seriously thought we were going to pull it off. We lost 5-4. We were down 3-1 at halftime, which means we outscored them 3-2 in the second half, which was good for us. As usual, we had to pick up a couple players from the other teams because we never have enough girls to play.

I played in goal again, and had my best game of the year. I lost track of how many saves I made but it was a lot. I may have lost track while making a save with my head, and then a minute later with an open left eye. Ouch. At least I know I was keeping my eye on the ball, because I saw it all the way through impact!

I don't have a black eye (at least no more black than my eyes usually look), but Amy tells me that it is a bit swollen today. She was also aware enough this morning to bring me some Advil while I was still in bed, which is what allowed me to muster the strength to actually get up. haha.

I told her after the game that if she wanted to see me play some good goalkeeper, this would have been the game to come to. On the other hand, if it would disturb her to see me constantly throw myself into situations where it looks like I'm going to take some real damage, then this was *not* the game to see. Today I feel like I've been bludgeoned with baseball bats, which is, more or less, exactly what happened.

And so many people don't like playing goal. What's the matter with you?

Friday, August 18, 2006

This is John Madden reporting live from Avon, Indiana

Tonight was the opening night for high school football here in Indiana, and my good friend Bob Potosky of HSSP Radio ( asked me to join him again this year to do color commentary for some of his broadcasts.

Of course, I did my best to make a fool of myself, and had a good time doing so. Rule #1 in broadcasting is to make sure you are in the studio/press box before the broadcast begins. In this case, I was stuck in traffic, then stuck by a train, and then ran threw the ticket gate (luckily no one stopped me to ask for a ticket) and arrived panicked and winded in the press box a couple minutes after Bob had started the broadcast. Needless to say, I was tripping over myself throughout the start of the evening.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Bob, who diligently does multiple broadcasts a week as play-by-play man, chief engineer, magazine salesman, and equipment porter, statistician, and goodness knows what else. How he does it, while somehow pulling stats, names, and figures out of the thin air is beyond me. I've had the privilege of listening to Bob do play-by-play since we were kids and he annouced our Nintendo Tecmo Bowl games. He was certainly born for this profession.

I, on the other hand, am an unpaid, volunteer stand-in who does it because I've enjoyed football my whole life and began my enjoyment of doing radio when I started doing shows for the campus station, WMHD, in college. The inexperience shows.

It's probably obvious, but doing live sports coverage is significantly more difficult than doing on-air D.J. work for a music show. There is very little downtime, and since Bob himself is a one man show, there's no one feeding me what to say.

Combine that with the position of color commentator on the radio, and you've got a recipe for foolishness - haha. Next time you watch a TV football broadcast, look at what the color guy does -- a lot of the time, he's commenting on the replay which is being shown to the viewers at home... "look at this block here..." "what you'll see now is..." they might even draw some x's and o's on the screen.

On the radio, of course, there is no instant replay. Nor is there a jumbo-tron or TV crew showing me an instant replay. Nor can I even see a half of what is taking place on any one play, given that I'm largely unfamiliar with the team (since it's usually a different team each week), and the rosters and stats we're given from the school can often change or just be wrong to begin with (as was the case tonight).

And of course, if no one is talking, the listeners get nothing. No cheerleaders to show. No crowd shots. No victory or defeat on the faces of the players. Nope. The listener has nothing except Bob and me.

So after each play, Bob starts typing stats into his excel spreadsheet, or is sending and receiving scoring updates via instant messenger, or is answering his phone for yet more updates and stats. In this midst of all that he might point at his screen and hopefully I figure out that there's an interesting stat line to read, or he might toss me a paper with a sponsor's ad on it and silently signal for me to start reading it (no pre-reading allowed, and the scripts are usually hand-written).

That means my job is to try and fill the space, without the use of any visual references provided by wonders of modern video. Just me, hoping to find something insightful to say about the last play, or how the game is developing, or how it's not raining yet, or how Madden 2007 comes out on Tuesday.

Then try to do that in the 4th quarter of a game that's 35-0 and hasn't had a score since the first play of the second half. You quickly run out of insights or things to say. Haha. In my attempt to stay upbeat on the team that was losing, I think I used the term "bright spot" abot 700 times. That's not exactly the next nation-wide catch phrase of choice, is it?

But anyway, it's fun and I enjoy it. And as with anything else, some days are better than others, and even a single game has it's ups and downs. And most of the time my real insights come at a time when I can't talk because Bob is in the middle of a play-by-play call. At home, of course, you can talk anytime while you're watching the game, but on-air, once Bob starts his play call, I've got to shut my trap. Tonight, for example, Avon lined up with 3 receivers to the near side on 4th and 8. As soon as I saw it, I knew the QB was going to roll left before throwing it because he'd been rolling left all night and that was the best way for him to buy some extra time. Of course, no sooner to I realize that then Bob starts with "The QB goes under center..."

And so the snap, the guy rolls left, and eventually they are stopped short of the first down. But stating it ahead of time would have been a useful call to the listeners at home, but I was too late with it. But so it goes. I'll be better with more practice, but even then, when you listen to the pro guys calling an NFL game on the radio, the color commentator often sounds like a dufus, and now I know why. LOL.

I don't think the game is online yet, but it will be soon and you can listen to a replay at to hear my foolishness. Our game was Hamilton Southeastern at Avon. If you do, you'll probably want to jump ahead to at least the 2nd quarter where, I think, I sounded less like a guy that walked in off the street (which is true, of course), than I did at first. Hats off to Bob who manages so sounds professional despite a guy like me flapping my jaws with gibberish every few minutes.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

For all my California pilot friends

Just in case you ever come and fly in the Midwest, I thought you might want some clarification on what the AWOS was telling you. This picture represents "Sky Condition: Clear" on every AWOS in the area, plus the FSS folks.

I took this picture at about 3500 feet while maneuvering around clouds to maintain VFR on my way back into Greenwood. The opening you see under the clouds is a bit misleading, as this was essentially the hole that I was diving through as fast as I could get the Archer to drop. It doesn't really do justice to show you the cloud cover there really was.

I started my dash for this hole from 8500 feet. Fortunately I didn't have any passengers since I'm not sure they would have enjoyed the dive. The cloud tops (not really in this picture) were higher than that (I'd guess maybe 9500-10,000 feet) and I wasn't going to clear them at my current climb rate (a density altitude of 3000 feet on the ground didn't help).

Before this hole came into view, it looked like I was going to have to turn around to descend and then come back at under 3000 feet to stay clear of the clouds.

I'd have gotten better pictures, but maintaining VFR cloud clearance was more important than digging for the cell phone, so I didn't snap the photo until it was obvious I was coming through the bottom. Clear skies indeed.

Maybe by "Clear below One-Two Thousand" they mean "Some altitudes below 12,000 are clear, just not between 3000 and 10,000 feet where all the local aviation traffic is." Ha ha.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jeff Gordon Killed my Soccer Game

Ok, well I guess some dude named Jimmy Johnson won the Brickyard 400, but either way, I got a call that my soccer game, already delayed until 9:50pm tonight, was canceled due to insurmountable traffic around the soccer facility because the race traffic was being routed past there. Ah well, I was looking forward to it, other than the fact that is was so late.

Anyway, I've been diligently continuing my aerobic work with the treadmill and heart monitor throughout the week and threw in an extra session tonight because soccer was canceled. It's got me doing 4 sessions a week, and I've been using Saturday (day before the game) and Monday or Tuesday as my rest days. The soccer game is a bit more of sprinting intervals (less so when playing goalie, but still pretty much bursts of activity), vs the steady walking/jogging of the treadmill.

Anyway, according to this thing I burned about 2300 calories in my exercise this week. Of course, I've probably eaten about that much extra per day anyway since I'm now hungry all the time, but hey. Yesterday was the first day I actually had to do some jogging to get my heart rate in range (sad, I know), so it was jog/walk/jog/walk, etc. Today was just walking again, but that my have something to do with the two beers I had at dinner.

According to the monitor, 50% of those calories came from fat, so that's 1/3rd a pound of fat based on my google research. I'm sure that would be a pleasant sight.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Still Alive!

Well at last an update. We’ve pretty much been on the road or in and out of town since the last update. We first headed up to the Michigan “fish house” for an extended 4th of July weekend, then off to California for a working vacation, then some time in Evansville, and finally we’ve landed back home.

Big news with the girls: Kaitlyn starts Kindergarten in less than 2 weeks, and she’s very excited, and I think a little nervous. We spent all day yesterday getting supplies, picking out a new backpack, and getting uniforms. Aunt Dana was nice enough to watch Hailey so Amy and I could have a “special day” getting ready for school. It was a full, tiring day, but everyone had fun.

On the Hailey front, the big news is that we’ve moved on to the “Big Girl” bed. No more cribs for us! I had a bit of a rough evening getting her to use it the first day, but on the second day and so far, it’s been smooth sailing! Wow!

In news about me, I signed up for an indoor soccer league and started playing 2 Sundays ago. While this may be obvious, jumping straight into a league full of guys 5-10 years younger than me after spending the last 15 years sitting on my duff has proved to be somewhat difficult.
What some call a “soccer game” and what I call “3 minutes of running followed by 47 minutes of trying not to throw up” led me to actually try to get in some sort of aerobic shape.

On Monday, I attempted to jog on the treadmill for all of 15 minutes which led me to a half day of feeling like crap. After doing a bit of research, I determined that the problem was over-exerting my sorry, out-of-shape self, and that by monitoring my heart rate I’d be in much better shape. That was worth a try I thought. I wound up buying a Polar Heart Monitor and doing some work on the treadmill over the next 4 days and was able to work up a decent sweat and get some decent exercise.

According to the heart monitor, I still can’t do much more than walk fast as even starting to jog slow sends the old ticker beating like a bass drum in a Metallica song. So, better to build up the cardio than suffer a heart attack.

I played again on Sunday and this time as it turns out I played goalie. This also means that I played the whole game. I was pretty winded and tired but I was able to do it and there was no risk of puking on the field this time. At least the goalie gets some rest (although not like in outdoor soccer), and I had a week of somewhat organized cardio training under my belt.
Playing keeper didn’t come without some consequences, however. Both of my knees were a bloodied mess, I pulled my right quad, and I jammed 3 fingers. Fortunately, other than being pretty sore yesterday and today, I think I’ll pull through. :) I took yesterday as a break day, and today get back on the treadmill.

Of course, I’ve been as hungry as a ravenous wolf, so weight loss seems to be out of the question at least over the short term. I’ll worry about that after I’m convinced I can jog at a slow pace without keeling over. I’ll keep you posted.