We flew Shamu!


Once again, a group of us all went travelling together. This time, heading home, instead of the east coast(ish). A group of about 10 of us were flying from Florida, through Chicago on our way home. Our layover in Chicago involved a plane switch, so, despite my decision to "step off the plane" and stay for a day, I walked with the group to the next gate.

As we arrived at the new gate, Andy pondered, "I wonder if we flew Shamu."

The rest of us thought about Andy's pondering for a bit, and concluded that yes, based on the whale and underwater decoration in our previous plane, we were on the Shamu plane.

"But which one?" Andy continued.


Turns out, there are three Shamu planes. I didn't have anything else to do. Dad wasn't going to be at the airport for another hour or so, so I told the group, to most everyone's surprise, that I'd go see. I hadn't told anyone other than Andy and Chookie, oh, and the rep at the gate counter, that I wasn't continuing on home, so most everyone was concerned I'd make it back in time for my flight. Given my flight is tomorrow, I think I'll be okay...

So, I hoofed it back over to the gate we had left, to check out the plane. Yes, indeed, we had just flown Shamu:


I walked up to the nearest gate agent, and asked, "Hey, so, do you know which Shamu that is?" pointing to the plane out the window.

"That? Shamu? Oh, yes, let's see," he said. In his best VOA, answered, "that's the fourth Shamu."

I paused.

"Your website says there are only three."

He paused back.

"Oh, yeah, right. That's the third one."

Oooooooooh-kaaaaaaaaaay. So, apparently he didn't know either.

We did, however, fly one of them!

Big Red Ball continues!


Andy had bought a big red ball a few days ago. He was playing with it at the fields. He was playing with it at the villas and on the beach. It was used as a foot rest by some teammates. It became the object of much mirth and entertainment as it was snagged by some teammates, often from under the feet of other teammates.

One morning, say, Saturday's morning, Andy took the ball to the fields and, rather than take it INTO the port-a-potty he was about to use, he set it down outside the port-a-potty before going inside to do his business.

When he came out, it was gone.

Sunday, when he and a group of teammates were at the fields to watch finals, Andy noticed a group of three women bouncing the ball around amongst them. He quickly ran up, grabbed the ball and called out, "Thank you, ball thieves!"

Surprised, the three tried to explain how the ball was just sitting there, it was abandoned, no they really weren't ball thieves.

Uh huh. Riiiiiiiiiight.

After the tragic disappearance and the joyful reappearance of the big red ball, Andy couldn't bear to be without it. Packing it in his luggage, however, might be difficult.

Andy managed to find a way.

How many engineers?


How many engineers does it take to get gas in a rental car on the way to Tampa Bay airport without getting lost?

From today's experience, more than 4.

A conversation


Paul, Warren and a few others were driving back from the store when they saw a group of McCain supporters waving signs on the side of the road. One of them was young (think twenties instead of the expected sixties of most Republicans), which surprised Paul. So, he leaned out to ask the guy what was up.

He had to shout, however, since they were on a busy road.

Paul shouted out of the car: You're so young! Why are you voting for McCain?
The young supporter shouts back: What? We can't hear you!
Paul: You're so young! Why are you voting for McCain?
Supporter: What? Can't hear you!
Paul: But I can hear you!
Supporter: What?
Paul: Is this some one way sound barrier?
Supporter: Yes!

So many people


Last night, with the tournament over for the team, I decided, okay, fine, I'd head out to the beach. I've spent most of the tournament on the fields or in the villa, not really wanting to go out to the beach when it was cold. Funny that, Florida, cold.

Bah, and went.

So I wandered out to the beach, less wandering, more skipping.

I REALLY should have clued in when I met not 5, but 10 ultimate players walking away from the beach.

Nope. I didn't.

I went through the archway under the condos next to the villas and stopped.

This is NOT what I saw:

Instead, I saw hundreds of people crowding the beach. There were at least five teams hanging out, drinking, playing double disc court, running around, and playing whatever throwing, hitting or shouting game drunk people can make up.

There were so many people I couldn't find any teammates for a good two minutes, having to scan each team carefully.

Funny how all athletic, half naked men all look the same on a Florida beach.

I eventually found my team, and was happy for a moment.

Until in nearly the same moment I realized that everyone around me was drunk, and it was raining.

Yep, about right, I thought, and went back to the villa.

I had some stats to finish up.

Third day at Nationals


So, today begins the third day of games with a games against Amp. For some reason, Amp has always been a big Mischief competitor. I can't help but wonder if it's because Amp uses Drupal as their website platform.

I crack me up.

The weather is, of course, sucky. And, honestly, the players aren't much better. Since I stopped playing this season, I've tried very hard (VERY VERY hard) to stay emotionally uninvested in the games. Sure, I'll cheer when Mischief scores, and I'll gasp when someone goes down, but when a foul call is made or a bad calll is made, I say nothing. I'm not playing, it's not my call.

And let me tell you, as anyone who's played with me in the last 15 years knows, my not saying something is a HUGE deal.

I ALWAYS know what's going on and am ALWAYS right.


Except when I'm not.


This game was way hard to keep my mouth shut with the horrible mutterings and mean spirited heckles coming out of both teams. My "Yeah, Right" muttered loud enough for few people to hear unleashed anger from Doyle that subsequently unleashed a fury from me.

I don't like that person when she comes out. Unfortunately, I was unable to find ANYWHERE on the field where I could both get away from the spite and see the field well enough to take stats.

Had I thought about it, I would have put my ear plugs in.

quarters vs amp
wind bad. cold.
WAIT WAIT WAIT doyle can heckle, but I can't? wtf?
3-5 amp up 2 breaks
no, make that 3
so tell me, how can amp suck so badly, requiring the play in game, then play like this? do they have only two speeds off and vs-mischief?
there is no place on this field I can stand without becoming annoyed and frustrated with the negative b.s. talk on the sidelines from both t
that was "from both teams."
from amp "yes, I knocked here down, but I didn't foul her."
"why do you keep calling foul?" "why do you keep fouling me?"
5-7 on giz to kyle layout grab
6-7 dano to em
mark to kyle - did he toe the field? one amp guy says yes, one says no. disc comes back
wind dies when they have disc. OF COURSE.
6-9 after half
11-9 on kyle to doyle
h.b. adam
adam to kyle blade, 12-9
softcap on
7 turns so far
maybe 13-9 several injuries and calls, including mark with the injury
yep 13-9 chucky to adam

Around here is when Lyndsay asked me if I wanted to go in. We were up four points and the softcap went on a good ten minutes ago. We need to score only one more point, why not go in.

Oh, was I tortured by that question.

I had brought my cleats.

I wanted to go in.

I so wanted to go in.

Instead, I turned to Lyndsay and said, "There is no hard cap in this game. You have to win it outright. I don't feel comfortable going in knowing that."

She looked at me, turned and walked away.

We needed to put the universe line in and finish the game.

We didn't.

ours is the only quarters still going
no hard cap in this game, since its not a placement game. this could be our undoing, given how relaxed the team is right now
gah. this point is killing me.
oh god 13-12
14-12 andy to mark

And yet won anyway.

Our last game of the day was against Shazam.

That FY-YAR from yesterday? Yeah, not here today. Too many unforced errors and luck not going our way. Shazam set the pace of the game and controlled it. We never calmed down from the frenzied pace they set. At Regionals it took a misthrown disc to break us out of the frenzy last time. Will was sick so we didn't have his poor aim today.

semis against shazam in 1 hour
semis against shazam starting now. flycoons vs alpha cobra squadron in the other one
the wind which has been dead for the last hour, chooses to gush now.
some shazam person was ranting on the sideline about the violation calls. leventhal's response? "this seems to really upset you..."
"... is there something we can do for you?"
unfortunate power dump for 30+ yards. they score. 4-5
4-6 on drop
time out mischief
double teaming zone is no match for andy pickett and gizmo 5-6
5-9 after half
yeah I give up. this team is giving heart attacks.
wtf. the observer called the score before the catch
shazam double teaming, we're not calling it
timeout shaz, 17 yards from goalline
okay this freaking sucks. where is the mischief of yesterday?
hi kris.
7-12 dano blade to nick
8-12 kyle flick to adam b
point from hell
still going
shaz time out
still going
kyle to leventhal toeing the line 9-12
I don't think I could play at this level again. way too much stress
paul on goal line to nick 10-13

Last week, Kris and I were talking about the number of games teams play at Nationals. The most you can play is nine, if you need to play pre-quarters game. You'd play three the first day (everyone does), three the second day (if you play the pre-quarters game, otherwise you play two), two the second day (quarters and semis) and one the last day (finals). The least you can play is seven if you lose in the semis and didn't need to play the pre-quarters game.

I guess we had a light tournament this time.

What I'm really trying to say is, "GO FLYCOONS!"

Touch of a teammate


Last night, as I was sitting in the villa, the weather outside not particularly interesting (not cold, but not Florida hot, and continued windy), I continued to work on my valiant attempt at stats taking. I was inputting some of the game data in hopes I could actually trust the program to work tomorrow, when a teammate came into the villa and sat down next to me.

He sat on the chair arm and asked what I was working on, since I wasn't outside at the beach with the rest of the team. I sat up and leaned forward to show him what I was working on, how the input mechanism worked, and what I was changing, when he leaned into me for a better angle to the laptop screen.

Except it wasn't just a let-me-see lean. It was more than that.

It was a "hey, I like you" sort of lean, where you can't really admit the attraction, because if you admit the attraction, then all sorts of other emotions come tumbling out behind the admission and one if not both of you are left standing there, feeling quite a bit uncomfortable.

Except for when one or both of you don't.

When, instead, the other person leans back, because that person is attracted, too, and won't ever admit it, either.

I miss the touch of others. Not in a sexual way, but in a hey, I'm still here, I'm still alive, I'm warm, you're warm sort of way. In college, hugs were fine, shoulder rubs were common, there wasn't anything necessarily romantic or promising per se about walking arm-in-arm with a friend. Ultimate has some of that, sure, but less so with the elite teams, and way less so the less you know your teammates. One of my teammates jumped up and yelled at me when I went to rub his shoulders two years ago. I think that's the last time I initiated shoulder rubs for more than a fly-by without being specifically asked to start rubbing.

But I miss it. I miss the warm touch of others.

Sure, I get Kris.

Yet, I still don't get enough of him, either.

Second day at Nationals


Well, we started today first in our power pool, because we beat Barrio yesterday. They're in the pool with a loss, even though they had the best point differential of the three teams that went 2-1.

Our first game is against D'oh, who is also from the Northwest Region. All four of the Northwest Region teams are in the power pools, which just means we're all in the top eight after yesterday, nothing too earth shattering there. D'oh finished fourth from our region and might have beaten the team earlier in the season, I don't know (it would have been at Spawnfest, which I didn't go to this year).

warmed up, first games against Regionals matchup D'oh
misch 3 doh 0 on kyle to ryan, high wind
zone d not so effective, works anyway 4-0
chucky catches int, hucks 68 yards to adam brown for score 5-0

So, at this point, D'oh calls a timeout. In this timeout, the captain sca-REAMS at his team, "THIS TEAM CHOKES! This team is known for choking. They ALWAYS choke. We just need to be sure we're in it when they do. So keep fighting, keep running, keep playing hard. We have this."

Now, there are moments when I think the world of Mischief. These are moments when the team is On. Fire. FI-IRE! There are times, of course, when the team isn't in the game. The difference between these two states can be felt. It's a tangible sensation that I'm unable to fully describe.

I do, however, recognize when it's there.

And it was there when D'oh called a timeout. It was there when their captain tried to rally the troops.

It was there as the team was handily defeated.

two throw score, defenders screaming at teammates, "I didn't hear an up call! I didn't hear an up call!" 6-1
wind pretty bad, similar to tandem game in 2006, if not worse
doh calls time out without any, turns the disc, we can't capitalize, turn back, they score 6-2
hard to stay unemotional in a snippy game
time out misch on goal line after 4 turns in point already
6-3 on 9 turn over point. wind kicking up.
6-4 on dump turn near endzone
7-4 on andy huck to em
long discussion on foul call
9 turns in this point, all four of ours were wind blades. we somehow take half 8-4
ugly point. chippy calls. huck and play d strategy is only one with a chance. 10-6
wind so bad, pull doesn't make it past 30 yards, they score one throw 10-7
emily layout catch huck, throws score to mark 11-7
14-8 "I feel like they just put in their second line." mark
next game against puppet regime starts at 12:15 easterm / 9:15 pacific, puppet lost to barrio
pool records so far: misch 2-0 / bario 1-1 / puppet 1-1 / d'oh 0-2

The sad thing about this game is that we had a chance to be King Makers. If we had played them second and had already won the upcoming game agains Puppet Regime, winning or losing to D'oh would have been irrelevant in the standings. We would have been 2-0, with a head-to-head win against Barrio, ensuring our first place position in the pool.

We could, however, help D'oh into third place with a win. Since they had a head to head against the other team, they'd be third in the pool and wouldn't have to play the game into the quarters.

And Northwest would have all four teams in the Quarter Finals. With a night's rest, there would be a non-zero chance at having an all Northwest Semis.

It would have been spectacular.

Except we haven't played Puppet yet. And couldn't risk two losses.

Besides, who wants to lose to a team that thinks we just choke?



So, our last game of the second day, against Puppet Regime.

huddle before puppet game.
hey look! we have observers! yay!
dano to andy layout 1-0
wind is REALLY bad.
paul to em 2-1
time out misch
andy to dano 3-2
we're having problems leaving discussions on the field. 3-3
last point had 14 turnovers
8-5 misch takes half
10-7 on lauout endzone dump block by pickett
lauout? sheesh.
there's been only one upwind score this game
doyle sky for 2nd upwind score this game 12-8
doyle layout grab for score 13-8
kyle sucking, subbed out for wes
and wes is injured by an opponent landing on him
uh, line judge? watch the lines, please.
14-10 downwind
dano to giz 15-10
3-0 in our power pools, done playing for the day.

Less Manifest Destiny in this game, but a good game none-the-less. The game would have been nicer if the observers could actually observe.

Gillian and the monster cookie


Huh. Well look at that


If you get close enough, you can still take good (though still not great) pictures even with a small camera.