Saturday, March 28, 2009

Caps vs Tampa Bay: Section 121, Row J

Every sports fan should sit as close to the ice as possible for one hockey game. I had an opportunity to sit ten rows behind the Caps bench so I brought my Nikon D40 camera and tested my new zoom lens out. Here are some of the 250 pictures I took.

I still need to really learn how my camera works. Perhaps I'll sign up for some classes and I'll keep my eyes open for some that are offered at local camera stores.

Hockey is a fast sport and it can be tough getting a great shot for amateur photographers such as myself. Throw in my being a fan of the Caps and often I was caught between taking pictures and watching the game. Taking pictures during the warm up was easier and I got some better shots. You can see more detail as players often skate without their helmets and they also work on various parts of their game.

Ten rows up behind the Caps bench is nice but there were a couple obstacles I dealt with. The glass being one of them and I really could only shoot half the rink. Also I was conscious of the person and his family behind me as I didn't want to get in their way of enjoying the game by standing up during the action. As usual, be sure to double click for a larger view of the picture I posted.

It was a very entertaining game in which the Caps won 5-3. Here is the Post recap titled Pothier Delivers for Capitals

First two pictures are Alex Ovechkin during warm ups.

Former Caps

Brooks Laich

Sergei Fedorov

Best player in hockey, period.

Alex Ovechkin faces off against Ryan Craig

Caps goal!

The pesky and quick Martin St. Louis

Keith Aucoin looking to pass or buy a vowel as Pat Sajak (middle) looks on.

Alex the Great 8

Jose Theodore with the save

Ovechkin's 52nd goal makes it 5-3 Caps!

Celebrating Caps!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

White House Easter Egg Roll Blues

When I saw that the White House was going to distribute tickets online to their annual Easter Egg Roll, I was excited for the chance to bring Benjamin, seen here at our Easter Egg hunt last year in Virginia Beach VA, to this great tradition that has been going on at the White House since 1878.

I logged on at various times in the early morning. Finally at 8:03 I got on and I was directed to a wait room. The page times out, so I had to repeat the process again and again. Finally I got in the site to get tickets! I placed the order for the both of us, filled in the letters for verification and then the site, which was very slow due to the demand, crashed again! I kept on trying and trying, each timed entry period showed no tickets were available. I even looked for the last entry of the day, the 3:00-5:00 PM slot and nothing.

Folks complained about their frustrations on NBC Channel 4's web site

I liked the idea of getting these tickets online. I admit I did get to the party late at 8:03 this morning and supply and demand got me and I was just as frustrated with the many others out there. It happens, I guess. No way could I camp outside the White House for these which was how it was done in the past.

I did see that the White House had an outside company do this as you were re-directed to a place called Front Gate Tickets and they just couldn't handle the demand.

Right now there is a message saying Tickets for the 2009 White House Egg Roll are no longer available at this time. Tickets will be available at various times throughout the day. If you are unable to order tickets at this time, please check back later.

A polite way of telling you to wait until next year.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's Over For Maryland

Memphis 89, Maryland 70

Howie Long is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who does commercials for Chevy Trucks. The only truck Howie Long didn't pimp was the one that hit the Terps today.

This game wasn't as close as the score indicated. Maryland's time in the NCAA Tournament is over. However brief it was, it really wasn't supposed to happen as this team was picked last in the preseason.

This turned out to be one of the more entertaining Maryland basketball teams I've seen in quite some time. You just never knew what you were going to see night after night but when crunch time came, coach Gary Williams and the team responded. They won two ACC tournament games and beat Cal in their NCAA tourney opener. Nice!

I'm sorry the season has ended. I really enjoyed getting pumped up with my friends to watch their games. In person, I got to see the first ever meeting between Maryland my alma mater Elon last December. Plus I saw what I call the best Maryland basketball game I've ever been to when the Terps stunned #3 North Carolina in overtime on February 20th.

I don't really feel like recapping this but I was there watching from start to finish and had two songs in my head during the game. Dave Edmunds "Slipping Away" when Memphis went up 20 early and a line from Semisonic's "Closing Time" as "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end". Next year I believe the Maryland basketball team will be stronger and they learned a hell of a lot from this year.

It was fun.

Post recap

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Add The Cal Hoops Team To The List

Terps win 84-71 and they advance to play Memphis on Saturday. It won't be easy as Memphis, last year's NCAA finalist, is one of the favorites to win this tournament. But this Maryland team has exceeded my expectations. It's been such an up and down season. They'd fight hard and you'd see a great effort as they beat three top ten teams this season. On the other hand, they got drilled by Georgetown early in the season by 27, and on the road Clemson and Duke whalloped them. One just never knew what you would get watching this team play.

Credit goes to coach Gary Williams for getting it all together at the right time. The Terps are 21-13 and they had a good ACC tournament run and proved all the doubters wrong with an unexpected NCAA win. I'm sure Maryland will come ready to play hard on Saturday at 3:00 PM and you never know what can happen. Remember what George Mason did three seasons ago?

Out of all the pictures I saw from the game, this is my favorite. Greivis Vasquez is all smiles and I love Gary's signature fist pump in the background!

Post recap

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Terps get Cal in the NCAA Tournament

Maryland took care of them in football and in the NCAA soccer tournament last Fall...

Now Maryland gets them in basketball...

Benjamin and I were glued to the TV this evening. I had the selection show on and he was asking me to watch his shows on Nick Jr...Around 6:20 PM EST CBS announced that Gary Williams and the Maryland Terrapins had gained the 10th seed in the West Region and will play 7th seeded California on Thursday in Kansas City, MO. Should the Terps win, they would likely face the 2nd seed Memphis. I don't care, the Terps are back in the NCAA Tournament!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Duke 67, Maryland 61

The Terps hung in there but three games in three days ultimately wore them out and Duke's depth proved too much for the Terps. Duke plays Florida State in the ACC Championship tomorrow at 12:30 while the Terps wait and see if they did enough for an NCAA Tournament bid.

Personally, I think they did. They went 2-1 in this ACC Tournament and they hung tough against a very good Duke team today. I won't post the pros and cons of Maryland's season here as I will drive myself nuts. So whatever happens, happens. I will close by saying that this is one of Gary Williams best coaching jobs at Maryland. I just hope the NCAA Tournament committee thinks so too. So to quote Tom Petty, the waiting is the hardest part.

Go get 'em Terps!

Maryland vs Duke, ACC Tournament Semifinal. At stake is a berth in the championship game on Sunday but more important for Maryland, a trip to the NCAA's is on the line. Maryland beat NC State and Wake Forest so far in the tournament to get to the semifinals. After the Wake game I've been online reading a bunch of folks who say Maryland (20-12) is in the big dance. I'm not so sure, so a win over Duke would be huge.

The Terps are in the ACC Tournament Semifinals for the first time since 2004, they have the talent to beat Duke and either North Carolina or Florida State in the title game. Doing so means they pop that "tournament bubble" they are on and they'll kick the damn NCAA Tournament door in as ACC Champions. They can do it! Believe Terps!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

What A Busy Saturday!

Beginning at 9:30 AM today we took Benjamin to see horses at a field near our church, the library, the park and McDonald's for lunch. After a two hour nap, we went to a 4th birthday party for one of his day care pals at a bounce place. After that we went out for a nice, quiet dinner. Monday Benjamin is trudging and playing through show and a few days later he's running around in 70 degree weather. Hopefully Spring will be here for good soon. In less than a month Benjamin starts outdoor mini soccer. We got a little practice in today at the park.

"Push me higher Daddy!"

A little dodge ball action

Yes, the shot dropped!

He's a righty.

Friday, March 06, 2009

George Pelecanos: The Way Home

I was surfing around tonight looking for books for Benjamin when I saw that one of my favorite author's George Pelecanos has a new book called The Way Home coming out May 12, 2009. Amazon didn't have a description of the book so I surfed around and found this on VJ Books.

How far will a father go to save his son? That question is the beating pulse beneath George Pelecanos's spectacular new novel.

When Thomas Flynn leaves his son, seventeen year-old Chris, at Pine Ridge, a juvenile prison near Washington, D.C., his heart is broken but his mind is made up: Chris will have to pay for the mistakes he's made. Inside, Chris is exposed to kids from a different D.C. than the comfortable one he knew-- one less remote from the street fights, car chases, and marijuana deals that got him here in the first place.

A decade later, Chris and the friends he made at Pine Ridge seem reformed. Chris has a job, thanks to his father, a girlfriend, and his own apartment. But when he and the others are inadvertently caught up in a burglary, old habits and worse instincts rise to the surface, threatening this new-found stability with sudden treachery and violence. With the drama, compassion, and urgency for which Pelecanos is celebrated, The Way Home travels the streets of Washington, D.C. and tells the story of its people, and the tensions that always linger just out of sight, circling back again and again to that clapboard house on Livingston Street where Thomas and Chris Flynn's rocky relationship moves from distrust and scorn toward a flawed, but real, redemption.

George Pelecanos website.

City Paper A Pelecanos Dictionary: Coming to terms with D.C.'s most site-specific author


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March 2, 2009 Snow Day

Yesterday was a snow day for Benjamin and Weena and here are some shots Weena took of Benjamin enjoying the day outside.

February 1979 Snow Storm

A friend from high school on Facebook mentioned the President's Day snow storm of 1979 so I did some digging in the archives and came up with these shots I took.

If I can recall correctly we missed a weeks worth of school.

Washington Post Weather Gang talked about it last year here:
Huge Snowfall Shuts Down D.C. Area

From the front porch. Great sledding on Corbin Drive that week!

Dad, after telling me the "Our schools never closed" and "I had to walk ten miles to get there in a foot of snow" speech that every Dad told their kid ;)

I think he closed with "put your @*#&^@ camera down and get out here now."

Dad's 44 in this pic and I was 17 then.

From the driveway.

Here's our back yard. I think I had some beer stashed in the bushes