Fr. Chris and I had the pleasure of seeing Fleetwood Mac last night (at the Nationwide Arena). We enjoyed their impressive 2013 show that ended their 3 year performance hiatus. They rocked it again this year and with the return of Christine McVie were even better. It is hard to believe that Stevie Nicks is 66, her voice is still awesome. Lindsey (age 65) and Mick (age 67) displayed serious skills and no atrophy due to age. They are definitely a must see band!
Fr. Chris and I went to see Fleetwood Mac last night at Nationwide Arena. It was their 1st show in 3 years and opened their tour. Their performance rocked with intensity and emotion exceeding my expectations. Lindsey Buckingham is an amazing guitarist. Stevie Nicks had her signature sexy voice. Mike Fleetwood brought great drumming chops. They still have it despite being in their 60’s.
I went skiing in Colorado with friends back in January. On Saturday I went to confession before attending mass in Breckenridge. Fr. Marty threw me a curve ball penance to volunteer my time. I am more accustomed to a prayer penance to begin to repair my relationship with God after my confession. Well, I returned to Colorado on another ski tip in February with Doug and Fr. Marty had our mass. I remembered that I still needed to perform my volunteer penance. I saw science fair judges were needed in the church bulletin back home at St. Mike’s and I volunteered.
I reflected on my past junior high science projects and taking them on to compete at Heidelberg College. It was fun to be on the other side of the equation. It was a great experience and I was impressed with all the 7th grade science projects and the solid understanding of the scientific method. I am definitely going to volunteer again next year! I even got to pet a large rabbit at the fair. Perhaps, that is why Barkley carefully sniffed me when I came home.
My dad and I have been going to Michigan kayaking the last several years. We take a few friends and have a great time. I am reinvigorated by the natural smell of fresh air that finishes with a crisp pine scent. The sticky Michigan sand always makes its way home to Ohio. The weather was sunny but refreshingly cool. We cooked all our meals over the open fire and enjoyed treats like homemade kettle corn and homemade hot apple cider.
The Pine River flows with a fun quickness and swerves through a scenic natural forest. On the first day, we arrived in time to run the Pine River (before night curfew). We paddled from Dobson Bridge to Coolwater Campground. This was a shorter trip than we anticipated. Next time, we need to start at Coolwater Campground and paddle to Peterson Bridge. We paddled our favorite sections of the Pine River twice. We also drove North and paddled the Boardman River, first Beitner Road to Shumsky Road and second Brown Bridge Dam to Beitner Road. We could have done one longer trip of Brown Bridge Dam to Shumsky Road but we weren’t sure the distance and time required. Brown Bridge Dam was being removed and after our trip, the dam collapsed releasing water in hours instead of days. Below Shumsky Road is a 1/2 mile of class II rapids (Keystone Rapids) that I want to try next time.
My GoPro camera caught some great HD video. If you play the videos below, click the gear icon and increase the quality to a full 1080P for the best video.
Mandy likes to point out my family has a tendency has to hang onto stuff for a long time. My uncle, John Quenneville purchased a box of clay pigeons in Richmond Michigan on October 8th 1976.
John only used a few of the clay pigeons and put his empty shotgun shell casings in the box. John tragically passed away and my grandfather was given this box of clay pigeons. When my grandfather passed away in January of 2012 this box was still in his possession. I was given the box and noticed it was made in Findlay Ohio.
There is a nature preserve a short walk from my house that was donated by the DuPont Corporation. The famous Blue Rock clay pigeons were excavated from this site’s blue clay.
Some of the clays survived the many years without cracking. The local newspaper wrap helped protect them despite the fact clays are as fragile as eggs. They are a bright yellow color which I found intriguing as modern clay pigeons are orange.
I wonder if any other Blue Rock clay pigeons still exist. I bet they have an interesting history as well. I was thinking I should donate a clay pigeon to Findlay’s time capsule. Findlay dug up its last time capsule during its bicentennial celebration this year.
As a side note, Barkley loves the Blue Rock Nature Preserve. He is ready to run around the preserve and sniff everything.
Lets rewind a second and reminisce how I acquired schemer.com. My friend, Josh Woodward recommended that I use schemer.com for my personal website. He thought it was perfect as I am always scheming. I liked the name and purchased it. I used it as my personal website for several years.
I had several parties that contacted me with offers to purchase schemer.com over the last few years. I didn’t seriously consider selling the domain name at first but eventually I received offers that were large enough for me to think about it. I was not trying to sell schemer.com but at the same time I knew I wasn’t using it to its full potential. I never really branded my website as schemer and I didn’t even rank in Google for the word schemer.
I negotiated with Jonathan Nelson (co-founder of Meevine) but we weren’t able to come to a price point that his start-up could afford and I would be happy with. He had a good idea for the domain but I wasn’t looking for a tidy sum of cash plus potential value via equity in his company. He wasn’t interested in renting the domain name from me. I wanted enough to walk away or a nice steady stream of income over time. Another serious suitor came along. I had no idea who the company was but their offer revealed they had much deeper pockets. We haggled for a few weeks and reached an agreement. The deal was handled seamlessly via an escrow service. When the money appeared in my bank account it all felt unbelievable.
It has been a few months since the sale and it wasn’t until today that I learned the identify of who bought schemer.com. Drum roll please!!! It was… Google, which was the last company that I would have expected. I guess I should have also negotiated for a 100 shares of Google stock. ;-)
My dad and I shot two rounds of trap last night. I achieved a new personal best (at 16 yards) just shy of a perfect score. I started in the far right position which is my weakest link and hit all 5. I hit all 5 on the far left position. I shot another 14 in a row in the center positions. I just needed to hit my last shot. As soon as I shot I knew I had missed. I achieved the near perfect score of 24 out of 25. None-the-less I was thrilled with my new personal best. ;-)
Waterskiing is a lot like life. When waterskiing around the slalom course you are never exactly sure how successful you will be in passing through the entrance gates, around six buoys, and through the exit gates. Mentally I know what I need to do to complete the slalom course, but the trick is in getting my body to do it. It is easy to just go into an automatic mode and let the pass through the slalom course happen. Unfortunately, growth is impossible since the same strategy yields the same results.
I made good progress this year in improving my slalom course strategy by pushing myself outside my comfort zone. It is always difficult for me to attend waterski school since I have this fear of being unable to make my body finesse itself through the slalom course with a different strategy / form. I worked past this fear and received top notch slalom course instruction at April Coble’s Waterski School.
I was able to break through a plateau in my waterskiing with this instruction. I still struggle many times, I know what to do but am unable to get my body to bend to the will of my mind. I have the same problem in real life. I know the good I want to do but leave the kind word unspoken, the good deed unattended and the charity not given.
Fortunately, my waterskiing improved throughout the summer and I won the most improved waterskier award at the Ohio INT Championship banquet last evening. I was very surprised and honored to receive this award. My friend Jason probably deserved this award more than myself but I won’t complain. I won 1st place in the Men’s Slalom Expert division after getting bumped up from the Slalom 1st Class division at the last tournament.
I hope I am successful in applying my slalom course learnings to the rest of my life. The most important life lesson I learned this year was that equilibrium (or balance) in living is dangerous. Forcing myself to change by challenging old habits and trying new approaches was very refreshing while at the same time very scary. Having quality instruction, peers to hold you accountable and time to experiment with new strategies was a very successful equation.
A big thanks goes out to Jason for all his feedback, helping me to hang in there on the rough days and for giving me excellent tidbits to get around that next buoy. Jason is also very generous with his boat and taught me that I need to be more trusting with my toys. I thank God for the good health and opportunity to waterski. I qualified for and hope to ski again this year at the INT national championship.
I am a big fan of recycling. If you live in the Findlay area the Litter Landing is a real nice place to recycle. However, there a ton of other recycling locations. Hancock County has several special recycling days coming up in the near future for appliances, tires, hazardous waste / paint, and electronics on their event calendar.
There is no excuse for not recycling!