Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pictures from June

Wow, where did June go? Let's see, there was Memorial Day weekend and the state track meet, the end of school, the 5k on the trail, and then.....all these pictures:

My dad and I took a road trip up to Altoona to see the curve play. Unfortunately, the mean-looking cloud below and his friends made it rain just long enough so that they had to cancel the game. The bummer was that it had stopped raining but was around 8:15 and I think there is a league rule where you can't start a game after a certain time.

While waiting, they aired the Pirate game on the video board (got crushed by Baltimore). And, I saw some serious long-tossing.

The player from Trenton in this picture was throwing from the third-base foul-line (on the left) the entire way out to another player standing on the warning track out in right-center. I tried to capture that in the picture, but my "wide" wasn't wide enough. As we were walking out, we saw Tim Alderson of the curve beginning to do the same thing. Alderson credits going back to his long-tossing program as one of the reasons he was having a good year so far. Anyway, we'll have to make it back up to Altoona to see recently promoted top prospect Gerrit Cole pitch later this summer.

Beth likes watermelon. I think I've cut up three or four this month.

We are also involved with a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture?). Beth hasn't been able to join me for the pickup the first two times. The first time she asked what all the stuff was. I forgot, so the 2nd time I took a picture. Lots of greens so far but they tell us that if it's a good crop we'll be getting more tomotoes than we'll know what to do with.

I'm again doing the summer program called "Math in Sports" and thought I'd snap a few shots of some of the things we discuss:

 Various baseball statistics like batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, ERA, WHIP

How angles are used in running football routes

We also did an experiment to see which basketball shots were the most difficult and the least difficult. (If you look closely, you'll see that Mr. S needs to work on his foul shooting!)

On father's day, I ran the Obadiah Cole Man-Up Father's Day run along the North Shore. There was a 5k and 10k, but I chose to run the 5k.

The start was led out by a bunch of bikers

Of course, there's your standard little kids and old guys who like to get in the way when you're trying to get out fast. Nonetheless I was able to weave around them and get settled in to 10th-15th place by the time we got past PNC Park.

The mile markers were all off. My first "mile" was 4:59.94 on my watch. Don't think so. The second mile my watch split was 10:42 but 5:21 seems a little fast still. Mile 3 I think was on. It said 16:41 so 5:33-ish pace at that point with a finishing time of 17:19 for 5:35 pace. It was an out on the roads along the river and a back on the trail. No real hills, but I made my moves on the two "inclines" as I passed two guys on the first one and pulled up even with three others under the Fort Duquesne Bridge and managed to outkick two of them to end up 9th. Below is an action photo of the "kick" courtesy of Beth.

Perhaps most newsworthy of the race day was the furry convention that was wrapping up. I tried to get a good shot, but those critters sure are elusive!

Our little furry was shipped off to my parents' house. My dad came to pick her up and Roxy hopped right in the car and was ready to roll.

The lake at Coeur d'Alene was really pretty, especially set against a backdrop of foothills teaming with evergreens.

Beth did great and got 5th place PRO! I did a bunch of facebook posts & tweets during the race. So much that my phone died out.

After the awards ceremony, we went back to Spokane, Washington (where we flew in & out of) to spend the evening before flying out the next day. With our time, we went to the campus of Gonzaga University. Even though it was in a city of Spokane, it was set off and its own little campus along the Spokane river.

Beth and I scored some $12 hoodies from the discount rack!

For the rest of the evening, Beth and her mom appeased me for "my" part of the trip and we went to a minor league baseball game. It was the home of the Spokane Indians, who are a short season rookie ball team of the Texas Rangers. They were playing the Boise Hawks, who are affiliated with the Chicago Cubs. The equivalent in the Pirates' system is the State College Spikes. This league is mostly for college players just drafted and latin american and high school players who have already experienced the rookie league in Arizona (or the Gulf Coast League if they were the Pirates' affiliate).

Again, there was the scenic backdrop of more mountains covered with pines. This stadium had a few interesting features. There was a caboose (pictured) beyond right field where people could eat and watch the game. From the right field foul pole the stands jut out before going back in. Also, as can be seen from the picture below, they had a manual score and inning posted on the press box above home plate.

The most recognizable name in the game was Shawon Dunston, Jr., playing center field for the Boise Hawks. As most talented players do at that level, he tried to "showcase" his arm on a few occassions. One throw was very impressive, one was average, and a third he fell on his butt after releasing the ball. He also misplayed a fly ball over his head into a double (catcher running or would've been a triple) but, as you may be able to tell from the image, he was staring directly into the sun.

Without a doubt, though, our highlight from the game was our usher (they called them "section leaders") and a secondary mascot by the name of RecycleMan. If you were wondering, the primary mascots were Otto and Doris the Spokanosaurus(es)--not pictured.

Our section leader was very energetic and did a little dance every time Spokane scored a run. I'm kicking myself for not shooting a video instead of taking photos because this doesn't do it justice. The section leader jumped up and down and spun in circles. And, when RecycleMan happened to be in the area when a run scored, he ran down onto the field and starting dancing like a drum major. HI-larious!

When we returned, I went down to my parents' place to pick up the dog. While, there I helped my dad take out this tree stump at my grandparents' house. As you can see from the picture, this stump was pretty big relative to my dad's boot. We hacked away at it and dug around it for a few hours and it finally gave in.

Somewhere in there, I need to get out a cheesy pun to the effect of:

We came (to Nana & Pappap's house to remove the stump)
We saw (actually, it was all chopping and digging--no sawing)
We conquered (that stump was removed and tossed over the hill).
Monday begins summer cross country runs. While the official season starts in mid-August, it's the pounding of the pavement and putting in the miles in the summer that determines the success a team has is October and November.
Happy Canada Day to all the friends north of the border and Happy Fourth of July to all on Wednesday. On that day, I'm going to make a meager attempt to defend my title at the Hampton 4th of July 5k. We'll see how that goes.


Beth said...

Now THAT is a lot of pictures for one blog! You (and I) were busy in June! :)

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