2015-2016
Recording Life In Western Florida And Beyond
UNIQUE WESTERN FLORIDA PHOTOS

All Photos Copyright ©
Bill Stockland All Rights Reserved

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VIEW OUR PHOTOS OF EVERYTHING FROM A TO Z...ARTS &ATHLETICS TO THE LOCAL ZOO

REVISED SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
LINKS AND PHOTOS FOR PREVIOUS YEARS EVENTS AND LOCAL SCENES CAN BE FOUND AT:
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PREVIOUS YEAR 2015

Email Bill Stockland 
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Editor's Note   Sophos Anti-virus neutralized a harmless, but otherwise unwanted, adware insertion on 10-17-15.

As kids we would stretch out on our backs and imagine the different objects the clouds formed in the sky.  If you're lucky you haven't stopped just because you're no longer chronologically a kid.  It's still all the magic of reality and illusion. Being in Florida, we're probably just a little more careful about where we stretch out.

This exact wispy configuration, like all clouds, will never be seen again except as how the viewer interprets what the camera saw  for that instant one afternoon in August.   Looking now I see a bay or lagoon…maybe a sound with another island, maybe a barrier island.  I see an animal about to leap.  I see loosened glaciers calving.  I didn't see any of this when I first made the photo.  It's that magic again.


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7-25-16
I JUST HAD TO SAY THIS:
Some golfers are idiots

I live next to a golf course.  It's usually quiet and a great study in human nature.  Golfers
embarrass themselves with their immaturity.  In this case a player on a par 3 hole must
have driven his ball to my front porch.  His ball landed closer to my porch than the target.
He apparently chose to (in violation of golf rules) play the ball from far out of bounds. I
know this because his illegal approach was so bad, he broke his club in half and threw the
head half on my roof! It was a good club (8 iron) and not cheap. So much for a matched set.


7-24-16

THE GRATEFUL DEAD
  by any other name is still the Grateful Dead to fans and followers!
Summer Tour 2016—has new faces and old faces DBA "Dead And Company."
Fans range in age from young teens to seventy-somethings.

 Unique?
Show me another band that has been in operation in one dispensation or another for over 50 years...and played over 2300 (and still counting) shows?

Show me a band that has  telephone book size data bases listing all of its concerts and songs.  It includes when and where
 every song was played and what preceded it and followed it and the particular length (which varies every time they play).

How about a band whose followers traveled from venue to venue with them?

How many bands permit and encourage fans to record their shows?

Which other band has an internet music site 24/7 where free music is played?

What band has internet video streams (pay per view) of many shows?

I've been to around 200 concerts and performances...half of these were Grateful Dead shows all over the country from California to Albany NY to Florida.  Nothing
compares to the Dead.  They even have an in house ticket sales operation that enables people like me to get special tickets to bring in elaborate taping equipment and
reserve places for us to set up tall microphone stands. The sound board crew sometimes allowed us to patch in to their equipment.  The ticket sales people operated
out of someone's kitchen and deterred scalpers and reserved front row tickets for regular fans.  I regularly got first and second row tickets for indoor shows when I
wasn't adding to many hours of cassette tapes.  I don't know of one fan who ever sold a tape—instead, they were traded freely.  Likewise, tickets were never scalped.

I'd say these things are unique.



John Mayer and Bob Weir


(L to R) Otiel Burbridge,  Donna Jean Godchaux, John Mayer and Bob Weir

Donna Jean and her husband Keith Godchaux are beloved former members although Donna occasionally lends her great voice from time to time.  She is 68.

Donna Jean, John and Bob


Jeff Chimenti with the famous Hammond B3 in the background


Otiel Burbridge


Bill Kreutzmann


Mickey Hart


Front man Bob Weir


The Gang


Otiel Burbridge is 51.  A great addition as bass guitar, he formerly played with the Allman Brothers. Founding
member Phil Lesh (age 76) has chosen to skip the current Dead Summer Tour and instead is touring with his other band,
Phil Lesh And Friends.  Both Otiel and Phil are hugely talented...each with a beloved and interesting style and stage presence.


John Mayer is 38.  An incredible musician,  he has stepped right into his position...learning virtually many dozens of Dead tunes.
John has his own style and voice.  He is so talented he didn't have to try to replace or imitate legendary Dead leader, the late Jerry Garcia.


Founding member Mickey Hart is 72.  He is a world class master at his craft.



Jeff Chimenti is 48 and is the equal of all the talented and beloved keyboardists in the band's history...Ron "Pigpen"
McKernan,  Keith Godchaux,  Tom Constanten, Brent Mydland,  Vince Welnick and briefly, Bruce Hornsby.
(All are deceased except Constanten and Hornsby (and of course, Chimenti.)


Founding member, and leader,  Bob Weir is 68.  He and Garcia shared the singing and guitar work that has made the Band a legend.


Founding drummer Bill Kreutzmann is 70 and a very talented and energetic drummer.




ARGO BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL
4-23-16
I only have a few photos and I'm just too tired to begin processing and uploading them.  I'm going to try to get a few photos Sunday and then return home and see if I can't post  photos.

For the second  time in my life I heard a doctor say the word cancer.  I will have significant surgery on Tuesday and should start treatment sometime after that if needed.  I'm confident.  I have a great family supporting me and I have a great doctor.  We fought this same disease off once before.  The first time around I labored over shielding my wife and daughter and breaking the news to them "gently."  I long suspected they were smarter than I.  I found out they are stronger also.  I've been through a world of chemotherapy, blood tests, CT scans,  waiting for reports and biopsies.  I don't want to preach but I  just have to say it is wise to include your spiritual beliefs in your support system.

I'll be back.





UWF BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL PHOTOS 4-10-16

The photo?  I just thought it was interesting.  The recent tennis, baseball and softball hit me about the time some exotic
virus laid me up.  I missed some great games and matches but I'm not really well enough to do what the contests deserve.
BASEBALL 4-10-16
SOFTBALL 4-10-16


UWF WOMEN'S TENNIS
4-8-16

MORE PHOTOS


UWF SOFTBALL VS SPRING HILL
4-6-16

MORE PHOTOS



4-3-16

Considered a weed by many and a  treasure to others...
"Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right.
"




UWF TENNIS
4-3-16

MORE PHOTOS


UWF TENNIS
4-2-16


MORE PHOTOS


UWF BASEBALL
3-29-16  & 3-30-16

MORE PHOTOS


UWF TENNIS
3-31-16

MORE PHOTOS


3-29-16
THE PENSACOLA BLUE WAHOOS ARE COMING BACK 4-12-16
The Wahoos are the AA affiliate minor league team of the Cincinnati Reds.  The team is owned by Quint and Rishy Studer and Bubba Watson.  The Reds are the oldest professional baseball team in America.  Major League Baseball recognizes Cincinnati's history by allowing the Reds to always play the first game of the season at home.  At one time there was a rule that no major league game could begin before the Reds' opener but that is no longer true.  Cincinnati still has a parade to begin the season.  Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Johnny Bench are always mentioned when someone attempts to compile a list of the greatest players of all time.


The award winning stadium




There is a beautiful view of the water.  I join in stating that Quint Studer has been successful because of how he treats people.  The stadium is very fan friendly and safe.  There is an old time aura to this modern stadium.  The staff is incredible. To a person, they act as if they're glad you are there.  Look closely at the left side of this photo.  The Wahoos have joined minor league teams in erecting safety netting.  It will make photography more difficult but it will make the stadium far more safe.




3-29-16
One man's weeds are another man's harbinger of spring.


There is beauty and wonder everywhere.


Creation, evolution or both...whatever the explanation no one can deny the
beauty in even the smallest thing in nature.  This bloom is the size of a 5 cent piece.




3-26-16
TENNIS VS CONCORDIA

I'm sorry if you hoped to see photos from today's match with Concordia.  It was raining and storming this morning at 9AM and I couldn't get any information about a delay or schedule change.  Somehow the match was played. This is a good time to remind people that I am not an employee of the university although I am considered a contributing photographer.  This web page is maintained and financed by me and I've done this for a few years.  It reflects my interests and they include athletics.   The time I had reserved for photographing this match was put to some use with the next entry on 3-26-16 about one of the places I've lived.




3-26-16
FURTHER RECORDING OF LIFE IN FLORIDA AND BEYOND



I am repeating these thoughts  for the benefit of my Ohio friends who received word that this building from our youth was being demolished.  For the most part I grew up in a little Midwestern town called Milford.  Writer Patrick McManus titled his book about growing up in Idaho as "A Fine And Pleasant Misery."  I share his mix of angst and pleasure.  A few years after I graduated from high school I was introduced to Hemingway's posthumously published work "A Moveable Feast."  He wrote: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."  Milford was not Paris but, for good or evil, it has stayed with us in our wandering.  I met some good people and I also met some people who reminded me of what Bill Bryson said in "A Walk In The Woods."   He wrote:  "I have long known that it is part of God's plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth." At the least, feelings for my little town are expressed by Neil Young in his song Helpless.  He sang: "There is a town in north Ontario, With dream comfort memory to spare, And in my mind I still need a place to go, All my changes were there."  Here is a link to a serious look at one formative year in the life of this town.



UWF TENNIS
3-25-16

MORE PHOTOS MEN & WOMEN 3-25-16


UWF MEN'S TENNIS
3-23-16

MORE PHOTOS


UWF WOMEN'S TENNIS
9-0 VS ARKANSAS TECH
3-22-16

MORE PHOTOS



UWF BASEBALL VS WEST GEORGIA
3-19-16 & 3-20-16

MORE PHOTOS
 
UWF SOFTBALL VS WEST GEORGIA

MORE PHOTOS


UWF BASEBALL
3-18-16

CLICK HERE TO SEE REAL MEN IN ACTION


UWF BASEBALL
3-15-16 & 3-16-16

BASEBALL 3-15-16
BASEBALL 3-16-16


SOFTBALL 3-16-16

SOFTBALL 3-16-16


UWF TENNIS 3-13-16
MEN AND WOMEN DEFEAT DIVISION I EASTERN KY

MORE 3-13-16 PH0T0S
400 Photos

I have been criticized (not by Tennis players...they are athletes in every sense of the word) for not having the ball in every photo I have of every sport.  It's like they can't tell what's happening without the ball in the photo.   Hmm...what exactly do they Alex Peyrot is up to with that object he's swinging? 

I'm tempted to Photoshop a football into the picture to help the critics.

I've also been criticized for not having the full face of the athlete visible in the photo.  Folks, Douglas Boe hasn't won 9 straight matches by holding still and posing for the camera.


I remember years ago casually mentioning something about where they move the holes on the greens for every round of the Masters and how they like the toughest hole locations for the final round.  A lady at the party looked at me like I was crazy.  "They can't move a hole," she argued and I could not convince her it was true.  I knew there was no point in explaining how they zip up a sand trap and move it or how they move those giant oak trees.  We've got to find some new friends to talk sports with.

In the mean time we have great tennis to watch at UWF.  Coach Racine has again gathered a group of the nicest, most skilled and smartest athletes in Division II.  They are friendly and they don't take themselves too seriously...just watch out when the match starts.  That they take VERY seriously.


UWF TENNIS VS RADFORD
3-11-16

MORE PHOTOS 3-11-16


UWF BASEBALL VS SPRING HILL
3-9-16

MORE PHOTOS 3-9-16



3-5-16

MORE MYTHS AND MISTAKES

Earlier on 2-23-16 we began a feature on mistakes made in entertainment. 

JOHNNY CASH
Johnny Cash is widely believed to have performed concerts in Folsom and San Quentin prisons while an inmate.   Nothing could be further from the truth.  He performed concerts at both prisons but he was never an inmate in ANY prison.  He was arrested and held overnight several times in city jails.  The arrests dealt with prescription drugs and once, for trespassing on private property to pick flowers.  He did spend one night in a county jail when he was stopped for having a bag of apparently legal prescription drugs.  His offense was attempting to bribe the arresting deputy.  Maybe his most serious brush with the law concerned a destructive forest fire that was the result of his campfire getting out of control.

His reputation as a "bad dude" was created not lived.  He had a scar on his cheek that gave him a tough image.  Many people thought it must have been the result of a fight.   Before being honorably discharged from the Air Force as a staff sergeant, he had minor surgery to remove a cyst and a doctor botched the surgery, leaving the scar.

Even his music was misleading.  Arguably his most famous song, Folsom Prison Blues, has the main character incarcerated in Folsom Prison for shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die. Over shadowed by this lament is the fact Reno is in Nevada, not California.  A murder is a state offense punishable by a state court in the jurisdiction where it is committed.  He could  have easily corrected  this by singing about Chino or Lodi being the scene of the crime. Reno was more famous I guess.

THE 1996 MOVIE RATTLED
Herpetologists must have been delighted in this movie that dealt with a small town's invasion by rattlesnakes.  It was a believable movie until a rattlesnake somehow got on the top of a dresser and leaped (leapt?) all the way across a large room to strike a man in the neck.  Rattlesnakes don't leap into the air off the ground and can strike roughly the length they can drawback in a striking pose...around half their length—certainly not across a room.

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
Young inmate Tommy Williams met with the warden about Andy Dufrense's innocence.  He is shot by Captain Hadley after the warden's signal.  In the first versions of the movie 3 shots rang out but the body had 4 distinct entrance wounds.  The Warren Commission met and determined one of the bullets entered the victim and backed out and paused in mid air only to strike again in a different spot. Later copies of the film had a 4th shot added.  The Warren Commission later gained fame for another investigation.

Andy escapes by smashing a hole in the sewage pipe and raw sewage erupts from the pipe apparently under significant pressure.  Once in the pipe you see only ankle deep sewage and no evidence of pressure.

Andy drags a package behind him as he escapes through the sewage pipe and into the creek.  The plastic encased package is far too small to contain everything that is supposed to be in it...the warden's dress shoes, a full man's suit jacket and pants, a dress shirt and tie, chess set and board and the large packet containing the evidence that will be sent to the newspaper.

Red narrates the story of Andy's escape through what he says is a trip through  500 yards of sewage, the length of 5 football fields, just shy of a half mile.  Unfortunately,  500 yards is less than a third of a mile.

How Andy got clean and dry, changed into the suit and got from the isolated prison site into town without cash or transportation is a mystery.  Judging by where his prison clothes and rock hammer were found there would have been a thorough search of the area and an "all points bulletin."  Why did he discard the rock hammer after going to the trouble of taking it with him in  the escape?

THE GODFATHER
Sonny goes after his brother-in-law in a memorable fight scene amid a spraying water hydrant.  He throws a right handed punch that makes a loud impact sound as Carlo's head jerks around.   Unfortunately the punch  clearly misses Carlo by a good half foot!

Moe Green was killed by a shot to the eye.  (Hyman Roth laments Moe's fate: "...someone put a bullet in his eye..."  to Michael in Cuba. Watch the scene carefully if you don't wince too much.  Moe's glasses are shattered but there is no bullet hole in the lens.

Earlier there was an assassination attempt on Don Corleone.  There are 10 to 12 shots at point blank range by 2 assassins.  The Godfather is later to be described as  having been shot 5 times.  (Virgil "The Turk"Sollozzo laments:  "He's still alive. They hit him with five shots and he's still alive...").  I count 12 shots but even if there were just 10, no assassin would have missed even one shot at virtually arms length.

In the flashback to Vito Corleone's early years he meets Clemenza for the first time and does him a favor.  As a reward Clemenza steals a carpet after breaking into a house.  As he. begins rolling up the rug a policeman knocks on the door but soon goes away.  The rug the two men carry into Vito's apartment is far larger than the one first rolled,

SUPERMAN
In the introduction to episodes of Superman on TV a bad guy breaks a chair over Superman. The guy empties his gun as Superman stands defiantly, bullets bouncing off him harmlessly.  When the gun is empty the bad guy throws it at Superman AND HE DUCKS.  Apparently a chair can be broken over Superman's head and bullets don't affect him but he is vulnerable to a thrown object like a revolver.

Clark Kent disguises himself from being recognized as Superman with a pair of eyeglasses!  No one ever notices that Clark Kent and his known friend Superman have NEVER been seen together.  No one ever finds a man's suit, shirt, tie, shoes and glasses in an alley or phone booth where Clark changes into the super hero.  Too funny.

Some people did not recognize the show and character as the farce it was.  No one believed Superman was real in the sense the Shawshank and Godfather characters had an air of possibility if not reality about them. Those were simpler times and people asked to be entertained.  TV was new and we all had a childlike wonder if not naivete.  That notwithstanding, the "mistakes" are still noteworthy. 





UWF TENNIS VS SHORTER
MEN AND WOMEN
3-4-16


MORE PHOTOS ONE
MORE PHOTOS TWO
MORE PHOTOS THREE



UWF SOFTBALL VS LINDENWOOD
3-2-16

MORE PHOTOS 3-2-16


UWF BASEBALL VS STILLMAN
3-2-16

MORE PHOTOS 3-2-16


UWF BASKETBALL
3-1-16


BASKETBALL PHOTOS 3-1-16



UWF SOFTBALL
2-27 & 2-28 2016

GUESS WHO WON?  NOTE THE SCOREBOARD!
PHOTOS FROM THE THREE GAME SERIES

UWF BASEBALL DEFEATS VALDOSTA TWO GAMES OUT OF THREE
2-27 & 2-28  2016

MORE PHOTOS



UWF SOFTBALL
2-24-16


UWF SOFTBALL...First Home Game 2016
Email Bill Stockland 
billstockland@cox.net

These 280 photos are not necessarily in order.
 PHOTOS:

UWF SOFTBALL ONE 2-24-16
UWF SOFTBALL TWO 2-24-16
UWF SOFTBALL THREE 2-24-16



RECENT STORMS
I stayed outside as the storm approached.   It started to rain too much to risk
my camera and the approaching lightning was too threatening to risk me.





There is a whole world in just a few square feet...



I rescued this poor guy from a pool.  He was exhausted but couldn't find a way to
escape to land.  I was just thankful I didn't have to do mouth to toad resuscitation...


Beauty can be found in unusual places.


An abandoned wall...The Buddha taught of the impermanence of things...




2-23-16
MISTAKES
I love listening to music or watching movies or TV to spot mistakes.  Everyone has seen the western where a cowboy, armed with a six-shooter,  fires a steady stream of bullets without reloading. Music has its gems also. 

Hudie Ledbetter, known as Leadbelly to blues and folk fans,  sang Midnight Special and In New Orleans (later covered by many as The House of the Rising Sun) among many songs.  He wrote and sang "Cotton Fields."  It has been covered by everyone from Elvis to the Grateful Dead.  The mistake is the line:  "It was down in Louisiana, just about a mile from Texarkana."  That mile is closer to 30 miles as the crow flies. 

Chuck Berry had a great hit that also  has been covered by a multitude of famous singers.  It's called "Promised Land" and it's the story of a poor boy trying to get to California from Virginia by way of the Greyhound bus. (The hound broke down and left us all stranded in downtown Birmingham.")  After an adventure filled trip he reaches the Promised Land and calls home."Los Angeles, give me Norfolk Virginia, Tidewater 4-10-0-9.  Tell the folks back home this is the Promised Land calling and the poor boy's on the line."  Too bad the call never got through.  Even today it's impossible to have a phone number ending in 4-10-0-9.  There has never been a "10" on the dial!

Lefty Frizzell (not to be confused with basketball coach Lefty Driesell) was a one hit wonder with the country ballad, Saginaw Michigan.  The narrator tells of going to Alaska to dig for gold in hopes of winning his girl friend's hand from her disapproving father. He reports back that he was coming home rich after hitting the biggest strike in Klondike history.  He sells his phony Klondike claim to his greedy father-in-law who goes digging for gold in the cold Alaskan ground.  It's no wonder neither found gold.  The Klondike, site of the famed gold strike, is in the Yukon in Canada, not Alaska.



2-22-16
TECHNOLOGY AND TENNIS
It was a bad technology week at Lake Wobegon Light.

It's been another great week of technological wonders here in Lake Wobegon South.  Maybe that should be Lake Wobegon Light.  We're changing phone service providers but wish to keep the same phone number.  You can see where that's heading.  We spent a few days without phone service because one of the companies had no record of service to us.  Maybe it had something to do with them being the company we were trying to get set up with. We were given a temporary number that never worked.  That's not so bad because the phone was soon reduced to a meaningless hum anyway. It's not a big deal except I got a personal phone call once about three years ago and I hate the thought of actually getting another call and missing it.  Oh, I get calls...there's that guy with the heavy sub continent accent who wants to fix my Windows computer...and there's the guy who wants intimate details of my security system.  I love the robo calls also.  Political "push polls" are also precious. You can see why I'd hate to miss an actual personal call.  We were stood up twice by repair persons with whom we had what I thought was a date and time...they referred to it as a "window." Things that have the word window somewhere in their name seldom work here. Anyway, we were stood up for both "windows."  I haven't been stood up that many times since my high school proms.  I was promised the third time would be the charm.  All I had to do was answer the phone for their call to make sure I was home...their call at the phone and number they were coming to install.  Look I'm not a techie.  I have a cell phone.  Sometimes it works.  Often it simply freezes and warns me about some kind of "unpacking" that was taking place.  Prying the phone apart to simply remove the battery and reinstalling it seems to satisfy the phone's need to humiliate me.  You don't have to worry about me texting while driving.  My phone requires 2 hands to operate. The previous cell phone was worse. 

Recently I took almost a thousand photos of my favorite tennis team while it demolished  opponents. (See them below) I thought they were safely on the internet for the world to see.  A friend emailed and said the photos weren't accessible.  I knew some could see them but now some could not.  I can't explain that. I decided to use my Mac and wi fi to see if our Windows 10 laptop could display the photos.  It was then that I was suddenly notified in the middle of my work that neither machine was connected to the internet.  Seconds earlier I had been joyfully typing away. I restarted each...I waited a few seconds to see if the resetting the tech people advise was actually true or a myth.  It's a myth...at least in my office.  I checked every cable and connection on two computers, the modem and the router.  It was then that I discovered the wireless mouse I had been using to avoid the sadistically designed track pad no longer responded.  The little protuberance that was used to help the mouse connect with the computer could not be removed.  I somehow forced the little plug out and reinstalled it.  The mouse resumed its designed function.  My Mac announced it had rejoined the internet first.  Suddenly the Windows 10 arrived at the same place.  Both events occurred without me doing a thing.  Anyway, I fixed the problem with the photo display.  Don't ask how I did it...just know threats were involved.  THE TENNIS PHOTOS ARE LINKED BELOW.

High Tech Circa My Youth

This was high tech when I grew up.  Portable?  It depended on how long your cord was.  Our phone number was TE 1086. (Later it was 831-1086 as demand for phones grew.)  Small towns still had dial-less phones and operators who plugged in wires to access call destinations. Ours was a fancy dial phone.  It was a party line shared with total strangers.  First come, first served although the operator could cut in for an emergency.  It was considered rude to listen to other people on your party line. There was no area code.  To call long distance you contacted the operator by spinning the dial all the way around from "O" to the stopping device and letting it spin back.  You told her (it was always "her") the number and city you were calling and she connected you through an operator in the city you sought.  You could call station to station where you were charged when anyone answered.  If you could afford it you called the pricier person to person and paid only if the right person was home to receive your call.  Cell phones and car phones were the stuff of fiction.  Maybe this high tech stuff is not so bad.


GERRYMANDERING FOR FUN AND PROFIT
2-21-16
This article and/or the graphics were made available to government teachers and were also used as part of a presentation to the California General Assembly and other places. .Hopefully you will agree that my effort is a non-partisan presentation of the problem.

Gerrymandering has been around since the early years of the United States.  The term was first used in 1812 to describe abuses in the method used by the governor of Massachusetts to draw congressional districts.   In a political cartoon, some of Governor Elbridge Gerry’s districts looked like salamanders. Political opponents quickly coined the term “Gerrymander” and the word has been a part of politics ever since.

By legal necessity, congressional districts must be redrawn to reflect population shifts.  We have 435 members of the House of Representatives.  They are to be assigned based on population.  Each state is guaranteed at least one representative no matter how many people live in that state.  Currently we should have approximately one representative for every 600,000 people. Wyoming has fewer than 600,000 people but still is entitled to 1 representative.  Montana has over 900,000 people but receives only one representative.  (Each state is given two senators regardless of population.)

Populations shift and a census is done every 10 years.  In the average Baby Boomer’s lifetime, Florida has seen its number of congressmen increase from 8 to 25.  California has grown from 25 to 53.  It works both ways.  For example, Ohio’s delegation has fallen from 23 to 18.

Populations change within a state and the districts must be redrawn to make each district as equal in population as possible.  After all, representatives represent people, not land. It usually falls to the state legislature to draw districts.  Sometimes the process is misused by the party in power to gain political advantage.  Since many people identify with one party over another, political scientists can identify areas as to their likely vote.  Past elections and polls can pretty well establish the likely vote.

To best explain this, we will create a new state called brilliantly, “New State.”  In another stroke of genius, we will establish that this state is equally split between the Red Party and the Blue Party.  Our new addition is entitled to 8 representatives.



Obviously, it is unlikely that any state would look like this and have such convenient boundaries. We’re exaggerating to make a point about the process.  Nothing is foolproof or definitely predictable.  In our real world, Democrats can be elected from Republican districts and vise-versa.  People can also change party affiliations.  Designing districts to favor one party only increases the chances for that party to win.  It is not a guarantee.


In a fair and non-partisan world, we might expect districts to look like the one below.  We’ll ignore geographic aberrations and other considerations such as ethnicity, income and cultural factors.  Rightly or wrongly, ethnicity and other factors sometime enter the equation in drawing districts but again, we’re just explaining the process here.
 
FAIR AND EQUAL DISTRICTS MIGHT LOOK LIKE THIS.

Legislators in New State have drawn 8 reasonable districts. The districts were created to have geographic convenience and equal populations.  Not considering the personal appeal of candidates or other factors, we would expect Blue and Red to have a good chance to win 3 districts each.  Two districts, C and D, would be in play.


What happens if the Red Party has control of the process and draws the districts? 
We could get this:


Here is an exploded view:


As you can see, the Red Party has a solid majority in districts A, C, E, F, G and H. and Blue is likely to win B and D.  Of course, both must still field viable candidates and conduct campaigns.  Members of the Blue Party make up half the population of New State but they will have only 25% of the representatives.  We could have made the example even more extreme.  Our mythical state would have about 4,800,000 people.  We could have created a state and drawn districts for a state that was 60% of one party.  Using the above plan, the 40% minority party would still have the advantage and would likely win 6 of the 8 districts.  Again, this arrangement does not guarantee anything other than the majority party would appear to have a big advantage.  Nothing is certain.


What happens when the Blue Party draws the districts?


Here is an exploded view:


Everything changes with Blue in control.  Six districts are now likely to fall to them.  Red has the advantage in only 2 districts. Notice Blue has a 5 to 3 advantage (or better) in Districts A, B, C, D, E and G.  Red should win F and H.  And again, we could have managed the statistics to have Blue with just 40% of the population yet having the opportunity to win 75% of the representation.  Blue is guaranteed nothing.  However, if people vote along party affiliations, Blue would appear to have an unfair advantage.

We see very similar “Gerrymanders” created across the country.  It has become a fact of political life and it has been practiced by Democrats and Republicans.  In this age of the partisanship promoted by some politicians, the "To the victor belongs the spoils" attitude seems almost to deny representation to large blocks of people.  American history classes always acknowledges the Revolutionary War slogan of "No taxation without representation."


THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
The only American college that plays once every four years!

WELL MAYBE THE LAWMAKING BRANCH CAN GET A LITTLE WACKY WITH ITS STRANGE DISTRICTS BUT AT LEAST EVERYTHING IS FAIR AND SIMPLE WHEN IT'S TIME TO ELECT A PRESIDENT TO LEAD THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.  RIGHT?  EVERY VOTE COUNTS...RIGHT?

THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTIONS IS : "USUALLY BUT NOT ALWAYS."  FOUR TIMES IN OUR HISTORY A PERSON HAS BEEN ELECTED PRESIDENT DESPITE HAVING FEWER VOTES THAN HIS OPPONENT.  ONCE IT WAS OVER A HALF MILLION VOTES DIFFERENCE.  ANOTHER TIME IT WAS A QUARTER OF A MILLION VOTES.  I'LL LEAVE IT TO YOU TO RESEARCH THE ELECTIONS OF 1824, 1876, 1888 AND 2000. 

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE SYSTEM
It's my hope I don't appear to be taking sides.  There are sound arguments both for and against our system for electing a president.  The purpose of this document is to mainly explain how the system works by creating a worse case scenario—sort of what some in the legal profession may call "A Parade Of Horribles." 

Basically, the Electoral College refers to a meeting of people selected in state elections to meet and choose a president.  A college is defined as an organized group meeting for a common purpose.  A presidential election is actually 50 separate elections wherein each state chooses representatives to travel to a meeting where a president is chosen.  For the most part, it is a winner take all election where the electors pledged to the winning candidate vote for that candidate when the college meets.  Obviously, in the formative years of this country a candidate could not have traveled to every state, city and town to campaign. We didn't have trains, planes and automobiles.  We hardly had roads.  It was wiser for each state to pick trusted representatives to travel to "vet" the candidates.  A couple of states divide electoral votes according to election results but the rest take part in a winner take all competition. A candidate's name is on the ballot but technically, the voters are voting for a slate of electors pledged to that candidate.  Rarely, an elector will violate his pledge.

Our fictional creation is a newly formed island nation called Tusoa.  (There are island nations...Indonesia has over 17,000 islands  and the Philippines has over 7000.) Tusoa has almost 60,000 people of voting age spread over 7 islands.  They have decide to copy the United States and its system for electing a leader.  It has been decided that each island will get 1 electoral vote for every thousand citizens. The nation is divided into 2 rival political parties.  The parties are based on age old points of contention and they are bitter rivals.  The Green Party is the majority party.
This is how each island (state) is populated:



Islands A, D and F are Green  one-party strongholds.  They have far more people (29,000) on just these 3 islands than the whole total  population of Red Party supporters on all islands combined (17,000).  Besides that, the Greens have another 13,000 people scattered on the other islands.  Altogether, the total Green population outnumbers the Reds  42,000 to 17,000.  If both sides follow traditions and vote for their own party the  Greens will be selecting the president from within their own ranks.

But wait, what about that parade of horribles I alluded to?  What if Tusoa has designed an election system after that of the United States.  That system calls for a winner take all rule for every state.  Look closely.  The Red Party has a slim margin in states B, C, E and G. (Tusoans don't name their states with much imagination).  Green has 43,000 popular votes to just 17,000 for the Reds but Red wins the election because of where they got votes, not how many total.  Their 17,000 popular votes translate into 30 electoral votes.  Despite having about 2 1/2 times as many votes as their opponent, the Greens lose the election with 29 electoral votes.  Might we expect rioting or worse?  Fortunately, the aforementioned 4 times in our history where the popular vote "winner" didn't win did not result in the election of a president worthy of riot or rebellion.

Green wins the popular vote in District A and gets all 11 electoral votes because it is "winner take all."
Red has a slim popular vote win in District but gets all 7 electoral votes for the same reason.
Red has the same slim win in District C and gets all 7 electoral votes.
Green wins the popular vote count in Districts D and F and gets all 18 electoral votes.
Red has narrow wins in Districts E and G and under "winner takes all" gets all 16 electoral votes.

What appeared to be an easy victory for the majority Green became a slim victory for Red.
Under the rules, Green has about 72% of the voters but only about 49% of the electoral votes.




UWF TENNIS VS LEE UNIVERSITY
2-20-16


The University of West Florida Tennis Team looks like the world.  Florida and several continents are represented in what is the true lesson of sport.  The best person gets the job.  You are judged by your abilities and how you exhibit them in practice and in competition.  Character is at the core of everything.  These young people are among the friendliest and most sincere people on this campus.  They are very skilled and confident without being egotistical.  That's not as easy as it sounds.  These are more than just words. Their families and Coach Racine should be very proud...so should the entire community.  This day they won 17-1 while treating their opponents with class.  That also, is not always easy for champion athletes.

In some ways, sport is a universal language that unifies people from different cultures rather than dividing them.  Nations export and import sports and participants.  That part of the world is working.  Let's hope it is contagious.

MORE PHOTOS FROM 2-20-16:
ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE





CHAMPIONS WITH HEART

The UWF Women's Basketball Team Joins The Fight Against Cancer!


UWF MEN'S AND WOMEN'S TENNIS DEFEATS UNIVERSITY OF AUBURN-MONTGOMERY
2-16-16


MORE PHOTOS:
TENNIS ONE
TENNIS TWO
TENNIS THREE
TENNIS FOUR


UWF BASEBALL DEFEATS #1 TAMPA 1-0
2-14-16

Before I get to the baseball game I wanted to mention the celebrities in the crowd.  Spooner Field is beginning to look like the Staples Center in Los Angeles where the Lakers play.  On any given night Jack Nicholson, Denzell Washington, Paula Abdul or Demi Moore may be in the crowd with other stars.  This day,  Spooner Field played host to the UWF Softball team enjoying a "Busman's Holiday of sorts. The Lady Argos are sporting an 8-3 record on 11 road games.  They have 5 more road games before coming home for their home opener on 2-24-16.

(For those who are not as old as dirt like me—A BUSMAN'S HOLIDAYrefers to the big city practice in the old days of allowing bus and trolley drivers to ride free on Sunday.  Some would make a day of it and take their families around town on a bus or trolley similar to the one they drove all week.  The softball team practices ball or plays ball games every day and when they get a day off they go watch and support the other ball team in town.  They deserve the same loyalty.)


MOST OF THE 2016 UWF SOFTBALL TEAM!



UWF VS TAMPA 2-14-16 PHOTOS


UWF BASEBALL VS TAMPA 2-13-16


2-13-16 PHOTOS



MORE MEN'S AND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL AND BASEBALL
Click On Links Below
UWF WOMEN VS CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 2-11-16
UWF MEN VS CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 2-11-16
UWF BASEBALL VS TAMPA 2-12-16


IT'S NEAR FREEZING
THAT MEANS IT MUST BE TIME FOR BASEBALL
2-9-16


CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE HOME OPENER



A WONDERFUL VOICE FROM THE PAST
THE PASSING OF BOB ELLIOTT AT 92
2-5-16

It's been referred to as The Golden Age Of Radio. I eschewed TV for the voices that came out of those now ancient looking boxes. Even FM radio had not scored its inroads.  My fellow "radiophiles" will remember the radio comedy team of Bob & Ray. I don't think their style translated as well to TV but in the day they ruled radio comedy.  Sometimes acting as ace reporter Wally Ballou, Bob Elliot joined with partner Ray Goulding to interview and encounter absurd, confused and egocentric fictional characters.  Modern comedy, including Saturday Night Live, various sitcoms,  radio voices like Bob & Tom and Gary Burbank among others have followed the trail blazed by Bob & Ray.   Ray Goulding passed several years ago and yesterday we learned of the death of Bob Elliott.
Here is a representative sample of their shtick:

Bob & Ray and US History skit etc.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcsIJqhGkB4)


MY WORLD RECORD
2-3-16
Like many of you, I've always wanted to own a world record.  I thought about going for the 100 yard dash record.  I think I had a shot at it but it rained all day today.  It wasn't the slippery track.  It was the clouds.  You can't time someone with a sun dial if it's cloudy.  The next best opportunity was a game called Yahtzee which I hope will soon be an Olympic event.  I mean, they did add golf as an event for 2016.  Surely there is room for a dice game. Anyway,  I've just been recognized and congratulated for tying (or setting) an all-time world record for the lowest score ever in the venerable old game of Yahtzee. Barring a change in the rules of this event, my score of a perfect "5" cannot be beaten.  As soon as the weather warms I'm going to begin training for solo synchronized swimming.  If you wish to join me in holding a world record or just killing some time waiting for baseball season on a rainy winter's day, I would recommend this great site:  https://cardgames.io

This brings us to an event scheduled for a three day run beginning February 19th. It's called Pensacon and it is considered a major gathering for those interested in comic books, science fiction, fantasy, wrestling and other elements of fan culture.  It's a family friendly event that brings interesting people to take part along with spending over a million dollars in our restaurants, hotels and other attractions.  Details can be found at pensacon.com. 

Maybe I'll set up a booth and sell autographed dice.

2-3-16

    PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO ARE MAC USERS...
SOME ADVICE FOR THE SOMETIMES MALIGNED iPHOTO


 I'm told iPhoto is "out."  I still use it.  But I also sometimes use an old version of Apple Works...an app that has been "out" for several Mac dispensations.  I have heard that several people have shared my iPhoto problem of very slow loading.  It can take several minutes of crashes, stalls and that infuriating spinning beach ball symbol. Of course you are also reminded that iPhoto was not responding.  Oh really Mr Obvious? I did the following 3 things that appear to be helping...load time is now usually under an acceptable 25 seconds.

Rebuild the library database...Start iPhoto while holding down the alt (option) key and the Apple (command) key.  You will be asked what to do.  Pick the choices of repairing and also rebuilding library data base.

Stop sharing files because it is very time consuming...Open iPhoto Preferences by holding 3 things...the command key... a short dash...and a comma. All boxes that mention sharing should be un-checked.  Leave the boxes empty that mention sharing photos & looking for shared photos.

Delete the iPhoto plist file. Follow this path:  HD...users (your name)...library...preferences.  In preferences look carefully and carefully delete (drag to trash) the file that says: com apple iPhoto plist.
 
Personally, I wouldn't take technical advice from someone like me.  It's like my philosophy on travel.  I don't travel in a boat, vehicle or aircraft I built.  Maybe the same should be applied to the computer.  Use my technical advice at your own risk.  A cautious person would back up all of their computer information and files before attempting repairs suggested by anyone.



UWF BASKETBALL
1-30-16



UWF WOMEN VS SHORTER 1-30-16
UWF MEN VS SHORTER 1-30-16


1-29-16
MORE WINTER!

I was talking to a friend about the cold spells we can get here.  We live in the subtropics, not the tropics.  While we don't really get much in the way of measurable snowfall, we do get sub freezing weather and ice storms.  A few years back local schools were closed because of a forecast that included an inch of snow.  We're mostly a population of people who have never driven on ice or snow.  In such conditions the best advice is to stay home.  If you must venture out when there is the possibility of snow or ice accumulation there are some tips.  Stop and start slowly.  Watch your braking by trying to anticipate stops. Double (or more) the stopping distance you maintain.  Try to go up hills without stopping.  Don't use cruise control.   If you feel your car going into a skid, turn your steering wheel smoothly in the direction you're skidding and let off the gas.  I still own a sled but I'm afraid it's wishful thinking.
SOME RECENT PHOTOS OF PENSACOLA WINTERS



Golf courses can be damaged as can water lines.  I lived in a cold climate most
of my life and never had a pipe freeze.  I've had 2 freeze and burst in Pensacola.





ICE HAS DAMAGED TREES AND POWER LINES.





1-28-16

UWF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL 1-28-16
UWF MEN'S BASKETBALL 1-28-16


1-27-16
WINTER WONDERLAND
Photos Of My Boyhood Hometown
My home was in Ohio not Ontario, but Neil Young said it best in "Helpless."

"There is a town in North Ontario,

with dream comfort memory to spare,
and in my mind
I still need a place to go,
all my changes were there..."




"This old house was home and comfort
as we fought the storms of life..."
                                                   
Stuart Hamblen   

If you've never lived in a cold climate you've missed something.  Frostbite and pneumonia come to mind.  Just kidding.  Winter is an energizing event of hats, gloves, sleds and snowballs.  It's the North Wind and it's every bit as refreshing as feeling the ocean breezes that reward you for living on the coast—even a coast as beautiful as this one.  I don't remember much if anything about Chicago winters but I know they are sometimes brutal.  The family took the train to Ohio. 

Eventually we ended up in this Ohio house.   There was a furnace of sorts built into the hall floor.  You pumped until you spotted oil accumulating and the ignition system consisted of dropping pieces of burning paper into the unit to ignite the fuel.  Heat was to radiate up through a metal grate that ended up too hot to step on in bare feet. My father was from rural Wisconsin.  He had no problem with someone being able to see his breath upon waking.  My mother was orphaned and often near homeless before homelessness got our attention.  Both parents were children of the Great Depression.  It was nicer housing than they ever thought they could have,

Breakfast (and sometimes lunch and dinner) often consisted of an obscure German-American poverty food called goetta.  It consisted of steel cut oats (called pinhead oats) and inexpensive meats (usually pork) that had most fat trimmed away before cooking and grinding.  It was pronounced "gutta" in Low German. Today, most Germans on any continent have probably never heard of it. I still make a vegetarian version of it today.  It's gone from a poverty food to a comfort food.

Summers were hot and humid.  Spring was full of the hope of happy futures (and baseball).  Autumn featured the aroma of burning leaves and gradually colder nights and frosty mornings.  Winter was the king of all of that. Cold,  dark nights were tempered by lengthening daylight.  The radio sometimes announced a snow day.  For a little kid who hated school and generally feared the wrath of nuns, a snow day was a comfort.  It's been easy to love winter and these occasional Florida cold (actually, cool) snaps are a touch of Paradise.
                                                                        
I know what Hamblen was really talking
about but it just sounded appropriate here.

From An Earlier Article Click Here:
MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH WINTER



INFRASTRUCTURE UNDERMINED
1-26-16

This street is within walking distance of  the UWF campus.  I believe weather and structural
age are to blame.  Like many infrastructure threats the fix is expensive and complicated.


Massive climatic events are a problem from coast to coast.  In many places the aging infrastructure is crumbling on its own. Even steel and concrete get old. The blizzards, floods and storms (such as our 20 inch + deluge in one day) are speeding up the decline of what supports our activities.  It's not always this visible.  Infrastructure weaknesses and wear are often out of sight until a tragedy reveals them on the evening news.  The county has hired a firm to prevent further damage and reverse this erosion.


1-25-16
GLORY DAYS

This week we ventured out from our trusty Mac computer to add a Windows 10 laptop to the mix.  If photographing these young champion athletes didn't make me feel old, struggling with my first ever non-Mac computer has made me feel quite old.  I became keenly aware that the "Windows 10 For Senior Dummies" is appropriate.  Remember, I'm the guy who can barely play a radio and now I'm using computers from two different universes.  I'll keep relying on the Mac but the wireless feature and cost of the Asus was too good to pass up.
Want to feel really old?  These clippings are from the early to mid 1960s. 
Some of you are going to deny remembering this but we know better.

Of course I worked on an estate as a gardener for only $1 an hour.  I later got a factory/truck driving  type job in the summer for $1.25 an
hour with weekends working on a golf course.  That and some loans along with Christmas break filling in at the Post Office paid for college.



Baby food for 7 1/2 cents a jar...


Cereal for 7 cents...


Don't forget the 25 cent tip...stores rarely opened on Sunday and in some places the law forbade Sunday store hours.


That's a NEW car at $1699 which went well with gas that they pumped in your tank for 25 cents a gallon.



$12,500 for a new house?


MAC VS WINDOWS
So far, the competition between Mac and Windows 10 for "out of the box"  ease of use and learning curve goes to Mac.  Part of that is probably my prejudice from having owned seven Macs since that fateful day in the mid 1980s when a friend brought his new "Macintosh" to my house.  It had a whopping 128 kb of RAM.  In an hour I knew more about using his computer than I knew about my trusty Commodore 64.  It was a time of floppy disc drives and dot matrix printers.  I was hooked.  I had a brief lapse of loyalty with the Macs in the 1990s.  They brought out a new expensive model that no longer supported some of the features I liked.  I fired off a letter of complaint to Steve Jobs and began looking for a new computer from the IBM collection.  I told Apple about the Macs I'd owned and why I was switching to the enemy.  A week later I got a phone call from the secretary of Steve Jobs himself.  We talked for over 20 minutes about my letter and why I was disappointed.  She explained to me that Macs were more expensive because they had no cheap "entry level" machine as the competitors offered. She said changes they made to the operating system were motivated by the necessity of keeping costs down and quality up.  She pointed out the difference in  features between Macs and the similarly  priced models of competing companies.  As the call came to a close she said "Now Bill, you're not going to quit us are you?"  It's a true story and one of the reasons Apple's strength is the almost cult-like following that has grown since the pioneering days of the personal computer.  Sadly, I'm afraid that cult-like loyalty between company and customer will not survive current market conditions.




1-23-16
SWIMMING AND DIVING AT UWF

MORE PHOTOS OF SWIMMING AND DIVING


1-13-16
BASKETBALL...OUR GIFT TO ATHLETICS

High Fashion...1917

This photo was taken about 25 years after the game was invented.  Dr. James Naismith worked in the Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA.  Legend has it he was looking for a safe sport to promote conditioning between fall and spring sports  He made up a few rules and the rest of the game evolved from there.  Notice the size of the ball.  Originally, men and women both used a soccer ball. 

What was handy was what was used.  At first a peach basket was nailed to the frame of an elevated running track old gyms often had so the floor could be used while people ran laps on the banked track above.  A few of these old gyms still exist.  After each score the janitor brought out a ladder to retrieve the ball.  It wasn't as bad as it sounds—the sport was low scoring.  The first college game ended 3-0.  Even so, someone brainstormed the idea of cutting the bottom out of the basket.

Dr. Naismith's original  game featured nine players on each side.  No, it had nothing to do with baseball or anything else that featured 9 on a side.  He had an exercise class of 18 and he merely divided it in half.  The original game featured no dribbling.  You could run to catch a ball but you then had to stop and make a pass to another.  You lost the ball if someone could also grasp it for a  5 count.  Different types of contact like bumping,  elbowing and shoving were forbidden.  If a team made 3 straight fouls the opponent was given a point.  That was a big deal in a sport that rarely tallied double figures.

The original game had no 3 second rule and allowed offensive and defensive goal tending.  The arrival of very tall players made rule changes necessary. The 3 point shot is a rather new development that was designed to give average sized people a means to compete with the tall players.  The 3 point shot arrived in the NBA in 1979.  Goal tending and the 3 second rule became necessary after 6'10" George Mikan arrived in the 1940s.  Today, there are YouTube videos of men so tall they can dunk without jumping.

The women's game mimicked the men's game and once dribbling was introduced  scores piled up for both.  The team in the photo was a legendary high school team in Ohio that once defeated an opponent 95-1.  In some places the rules were changed for women to a slowed down version that existed until just a few years ago.  The men had switched to a more manageable 5 on 5. This women's variation featured 6 on a side.  Three forwards stayed on the offensive end and three guards were required to stay on the defensive end.  Players were allowed 3 dribbles before they had to stop and pass or shoot the ball. The last organized 6 on 6 basketball game was played in Oklahoma in 1995.  If anyone doubts the heights to which women's basketball has reached I invite them to watch Connecticut, Notre Dame or the University of West Florida.

Men's pro teams first existed in 1898.  Today the men's NBA is recognized as the world leader in the sport.  NBA stars are recognized around the world and the best foreign players strive to reach the NBA.  The Women's National Basketball Association is likewise a world leader in the sport.  Originally, the NBA had teams like the Ft. Wayne  Pistons, (Detroit Pistons), The Syracuse Nationals (76ers),  Buffalo Braves (Clippers), Rochester Royals.(Sacramento Kings), Tri City Black Hawks (Atlanta), Philadelphia Warriors (Golden State) and Chicago Packers (Washington Wizards).  Salaries were low. The first NBA players worked at regular jobs in stores, factories, schools and offices in the off season.  Ft Wayne is in Indiana and the team was named after an auto parts factory.  The Tri City team was in Illinois and Iowa—now known as the Quad Cities..  The Chicago Packers were named after the meat processing industry—like sausages and hot dogs.  Ever wonder how the Lakers got their name?  Before moving to Los Angeles (which has no significant lakes and has to pump its water from far away) they were in Minneapolis on Lake Superior.

INTERESTING ADDENDUM TO THE NBA HISTORY

This has to be one of the strangest "ownership" stories in the history of sports.  NBA teams have made a deal with Ozzie and Daniel Silna to pay the erstwhile team owners a reported $500,000,000.  (The 8 zeroes are not a typo.)  This is on top of the reported $300,000,000 paid to the brothers since the 1980s. What team is owned by the Silna brothers?  None!  Which NBA team did they own?  None!  I called them erstwhile owners because they did own a team (called "The Spirits" among other names) in a now defunct professional team in the equally now defunct American Basketball Association.  The ABA eventually became a serious rival of the NBA.  I believe bidding wars for players and competition for fans and advertising revenue eventually led to a merger of the two leagues.  The NBA agreed to absorb 4 of the ABA teams and buy out the teams not selected.  One of the owners was John Y. Brown, CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken and later governor of Kentucky. He agreed to disband the Kentucky Colonels.  I believe he received about 3 or 4 million dollars.  The owners of the St Louis Spirits were the only owners who held out.  It's believed they merely wanted to own a professional sports team and didn't realize just how lucrative a deal they received.  I don't recall the name of their attorney but he sounds brilliant.  He arranged an agreement where the Silna brothers would get annual broadcast revenues equal to what a team would have received had it been included in the merger "in perpetuity." Shortly after the merger, interest in professional basketball greatly expanded.  It continues to grow in world-wide popularity and broadcast revenues.  The Silnas received a check every year that eventually reached into the millions annually.  They had to pay no front office, G.M. or coach.  They paid no players and didn't have to rent an arena, pay for travel expenses, scouts, insurance or utilities.

It is alleged that all was not successful with the brothers.  They apparently invested a tidy sum with Bernie Madoff.

In a most sad development, 5 of the best players the Silnas had under contract in the old ABA have died prematurely.  It has nothing to do with the merger or anything else related to professional basketball owners or teams.  If you're a basketball fan you will remember Maurice Lucas, Moses Malone, Marvin "Bad News" Barnes, Caldwell Jones and Don Adams.  Each died 10 to 20 years before actuarial tables would expect.  Find a good point guard and that group could win today in any league.




UWF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
1-11-16

MORE PHOTOS


UWF MEN'S BASKETBALL
1-11-16

MORE PHOTOS




A SATURDAY NIGHT IN THE WINTER OF 2016
I had the privilege of attending the 2015-2016 UWF Volleyball banquet.  As I look back over the last few years I realize just how lucky I was the day Melissa Wolter  drove by and saw me on the street corner with my. sign: "Will Photograph For Food."  I'm hooked on UWF Volleyball.  No wait, I'm hooked on the coaches, players, boosters and devoted fans.  These women and men cause me to appear to overuse the word special. Some banquets you attend have people looking at their watches and even holding them up to their ears because they don't seem to be running...not so with a volleyball banquet.  You wish they lasted longer for a lot of reasons. The coach is entertaining, informative and as sincere as anyone you'll ever meet.   It's always great to revisit video of a great season.  The players and coaches could make a living in stand-up comedy.  The food is good.  As an outsider, the family atmosphere is heart warming to watch.  There is also a poignancy that makes you realize that when the banquet is over two special players and a  special coach/former player are probably making their final official appearances as part of what is the most special volleyball program in the nation.  There's that word again.  The coaches and players each express words they believe apply to each other.  It's a wonderful tradition.  It's my turn.  I have a word that describes each and every one of you...that word is "special."


Special:   Unusual in a good way, especially important or loved, superior, held in esteem.



1-9-16
UWF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL


COACH YELTON'S TEAM HAS WON 6 STRAIGHT...MORE PHOTOS

1-9-16
UWF MEN'S BASKETBALL


MORE PHOTOS OF UWF'S EXCITING VICTORY


1-8-16
SWIMMING & DIVING


UWF SWIM AND DIVE PHOTOS FROM 1-8-16


1-8-16
BASEBALL
PENSACOLA AND AMERICA'S PASTIME


It's a great sport with roots that go back to British Cricket.  In America it has been traced to around Civil War days. It was first spelled base-ball.  It is believed the game was spread as a pastime for soldiers between battles.  It has evolved into its current dispensation and Pensacola not only has a professional team and a college team, it has a direct link to the richest part of baseball history.  The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are a AA franchise of the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds were originally called the Red Stockings and were the first professional baseball team.  Major League Baseball honors that history by allowing the Reds to always open the season at home.  There was once a rule that no team could start a  game even minutes before the Reds' home opener but financial considerations have cut that back to merely enjoying their first game of the season in Cincinnati.

The original Red Stockings dominated early baseball like no other sports team in history has dominated their opponents.    The 1869 and 1870 teams lost only one game in 2 years.  That was an 11 inning loss before a hostile crowd in Brooklyn.  In 1869 teams included Philadelphia,  Morrisania (The Bronx, NYC) and Brooklyn.  Not only was Cincinnati the first professional team, they were the team that made the sport available to the working man.  Baseball was traditionally a daytime game.  Teams had toyed around with lighting for games for years.  The Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues played night games as early as 1930 but it was the Cincinnati Reds who introduced it permanently to Major League Baseball.  Before that time only the financially well-to-do could attend games during traditional work hours. 

To write this article I relied heavily on my knowledge and photography but also an excellent article written in the 1889 issue of Century along with the old sketches you see.  The author was an unusual choice—Walter Camp, one of the founders of modern day football.  One of the more distressing things he mentioned concerned gambling.  He stated that in the 1860s it threatened the very future of the game.  It's too bad the 1919 Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati's Pete Rose didn't read the article.

Where do you begin in talking about how the game has been played from beginning to now?
For selfish reasons I'll start with the CATCHER

The original catchers were brave souls.  They wore NO protective equipment.  This sketch shows a more modern equipped catcher.  Originally, the catcher stood far back  and caught the ball on a bounce,  If the batter had 2 strikes or there was a runner on base, he had to move up toward the batter and attempt to catch the ball. Early catchers would hold pieces of rubber in their mouths to protect teeth. By the time of this article, the mask and inflated chest protector helped somewhat but notice there were no shin guards.  Believe me, getting hit full on in the mask is like taking a solid punch,  I can't imagine  getting hit with this mask or no mask at all.  The protective cup worn by male athletes hadn't been invented yet.  The use of padded gloves protected part of the hand but fingers were exposed on either hand. Baseball lore says you could tell if a man was a catcher by shaking hands.   The remnants of broken, gnarled fingers was said to feel like grasping a bag of cut-up carrots.


Here a well protected modern catcher makes a play in a Wahoos game.


The modern glove is flexible and quite useful.

PITCHERS


115 years later they are still abusing their arms.





Yes, a ball can curve. 





Originally, the pitcher had to throw underhand up to what we call sidearm.
There were so many arguments as pitchers challenged the rule it was dropped.



Pitchers had fastballs, drop balls, curves and rise balls.



This would have been an illegal pitch in early baseball.  We don't know how fast the early pitchers threw but I doubt if it approached the 90-100 MPH
we see today.  The original pitching distance was 45'.   It was soon moved to 50.  Today it is 60'6".  originally there was a box, not a mound.

FIELDING...The equipment has changed but the rules are the same.





The flexible, large gloves meant outfielders no longer needed to catch with both hands.









 







BASE RUNNING








 Little has changed except the speed and strength of the players.


The home base became a "plate."  Originally it was a marble slab embedded in the dirt.  The bases are still sometimes called bags.  The originals were stuffed canvas bags.  Batters could run to first if the catcher didn't catch the third strike.  The strike zone was knees to shoulders.  A person who hit the ball so far he had time to run all the bases to home was said to have made a  HOME RUN.  There was no infield fly rule and fielders could drop a pop-up and attempt a double or triple play,  One umpire stood behind the pitcher (and later behind the catcher as protective equipment was invented) and was the sole arbiter of the events.

In a much earlier version that would become baseball, a runner  could be retired by hitting him with the ball.  In that same era, a batter could request a high or low pitch.  There were no called strikes. That changed quickly.  Obviously pitching eventually dominated the game.

In the 1950s, the rivalry with Russia (USSR) led to much fear and anger over the threat from the "Reds" in the Soviet Union.  For a time the Cincinnati Reds changed their name to the Redlegs. They couldn't revert to the old Red Stockings because the Boston Red Sox had entered the game.  Baseball fervor in Cincinnati included a large opening day parade.  Schools even sent bands and allowed televisions to intrude for the game.  They still have the parade but it has been scaled back.  Calmer geopolitical times saw the name Reds returned.

In 1957 the Reds' fans took advantage of the rules allowing fans to vote for the all star team. They "stuffed" the ballot box and elected 7 of their 8 position players to the team. Newspapers printed ballots that were already marked with the 8 Reds position players.  All you had to do each day is cut out the ballots and send them in. Most of the players were not much better than marginal stars at best and the commissioner had to avoid making the all star game a travesty.  He appointed Hank Aaron and Willie Mays (ever hear of them?) to replace 2 Reds outfielders you haven't heard of...Wally Post and Gus Bell.  Today, fan input is limited thanks to the zealous Cincinnati fans..


WHY I CARE ABOUT BASEBALL

The man standing, second from the left, was a pitcher.  He was 17-1 pitching for an obscure Western Wisconsin semi-pro team in 1912.  His name was Bill Stockland and he was my grandfather.  Legend has it he could pitch all day and drink all night. When not playing baseball, he worked on the Soo Line Railroad.  They said he had a strong arm and had quite a "hop" on his fastball.  As a catcher on an obscure high school baseball team  50 years later, I had a pronounced "hop" on my throw to second.  As a matter of fact, I would usually have several of them.  Baseball skill isn't always passed on to the following generations but a love of the game is.  I'm happy with what I got. 

The UWF baseball team opens its home season at Jim Spooner Field on the campus on 2-9-16.  This is a top notch program that is run like a major league team. Bring the kids to see how it's done the right way.  The professional Blue Wahoos are promising some good players returning along with some new prospects after getting into the playoffs last season.  They begin their first home stand 4-12-16 at beautiful Blue Wahoos Stadium...the Community Maritime Park..  The UWF softball team has the unenviable situation of playing their first 15 games (9 dates) on the road.  They open at home on 2-24-16 at the UWF Softball Complex.




1-6-16
POP QUIZ
What would you be if you broke your niblick and had to use your cleek?
A. Insane
B. Angry
     C. Frustrated
   D. A Golfer
                 E. All Of The Above

                             Answer: E. All Of The Above

OK, you probably cheated and looked ahead to the photos.  Golf is an old sport.  Some would argue that it's not even a sport but is instead a game.  Semantics. Is it a sport if you can smoke a cigar or drink a beer while you engaged in the activity?  Can it be a sport if opponents and spectators have to maintain total silence?  Can you imagine golfers having to drive or putt with the Duke fans known as the Cameron Crazies trying to distract and intimidate them?  None of that matters.  Golf is an interesting pastime that requires concentration and coordination and more than a little strength and stamina.  Some say it goes back to even the BC period. I can imagine a caveman grunting in pleasure when he used his club to propel a small round rock away from his cave entrance. Of course he traded his best skins to acquire a club that could drive the rock further. That aside,  everyone agrees that the Royal and Ancient entity in 15th Century Scotland made it pretty much what it is today.  The following sketches and (some of ) the comments are from sources from the late 1800s.


The original golf balls were made from wood and later a kind of tree sap rubber called
Gutta Percha.  Most of the original shafts and some of the heads were made out of wood.


The author of this old golf book told of a man who was convinced that you needed to concentrate on 36 different
things as you addressed the ball.  The author said the man tried to do this as he played but added:"I am very sorry
to add that this amiable gentleman is now an inmate of a lunatic asylum. And the worst of this story is that it is true."



In 2016 the modern driver is longer and has a shaft and head made of some kind of exotic metal.  The head is the size of a melon and even this guy's poor fundamentals couldn't hamper his drive. Golfers are a breed apart.  A friend spent a bit of money to assemble his driver from the latest mail order products.  You guessed it.  The head of the club flew off as he was attempting to hit his drive. He got about 30 yards with the effort.  The same man hit a high massive hook far off target.  As the ball descended toward the paved parking lot he was heard shouting;  "bite, bite."  Golfers are hopeless optimists.



They say you drive for show and putt for dough.  It looks like the easiest shot you'd take...unless you get the "yips" and lose all hope.  I had a friend who was called a 'scratch" golfer at one time.  That means he was so good he didn't get  handicap strokes. He was expected to shoot par or sometimes better.  Then he got the "yips" and couldn't buy a putt.  The last time we played, the malady had extended far down the fairway to the tee box.  His drive barely exceeded mine in distance or location.  As he tightened his death grip on his iron for his approach he was muttering something about having to get his approach close because he couldn't putt.  He didn't get close.  It was depressing to join him for a round and watch him pressure himself into misery.   He eventually gave up the sport.  Sadly, it's a true story.



You didn't mark a ball...if your path was blocked you may have had to use a club called a
Stimie Loft.    You were allowed to move the blocking ball if it was closer than 6 inches.


When a hazard was hazardous...


When the rough was rough...


The early St Andrews...the most famous course in golf history...

Golf is a game of honor.  True believers call penalties on themselves and follow every rule religiously.  I live on a golf course but seldom play.  Unfortunately I see players cheating on such things as out of bounds and improving their "lie." There is no such thing as "Winter Rules" and you cannot "give" putts except in match play.  There is no stroke penalty for improper attire or loud profanity.  There should be.  It was once a dignified sport. I've heard so many people shout Jesus Christ that I first thought there was an outdoor Billy Graham crusade in progress.  Maybe that is the answer to the "game or sport" debate.  It's a sport for true believers and merely a game for the others who are willfully or woefully  ignorant of the traditions and rules.

I got the old sketches from a pre-1900 article on golf.  The author was named W.E Norris and he was writing in the authoritative journal of that time—Century.  How did he feel about golf?   He titled the article "The Apotheosis Of Golf."   For those of us who narrowly missed that elusive degree in theology, the word apotheosis means deification.

By contrast, Mark Twain is credited with the ultimate comment on this most frustrating activity.  He said: "Golf is a fine walk ruined."



MORE GOLF
1-6-16
We regularly repeat previous articles and photos for new readers.  The following comments and photos were last published in 2014.

A word about golf balls...

They come in different sizes...



and different colors and shades...


and brands with white still the favorite in all brands.


The original golf balls were filled with feathers or made of solid gutta percha.  I find old balls on occasion that have been buried for quite some time.  I found one in the crook of a huge Live Oak.  Notice the odd dimple designs.  The 5th from the left has no names or markings—a true generic!  The one to the right is a Ben Hogan 8.  The "8" looks a lot like a snowman.  Golfers will understand the humor in that.  (For non golfers, getting an 8 on a hole is sometimes called getting a  snowman!  That could be anywhere from 3-5 strokes OVER par.)  The 3rd from the left is a Canada Cup ball.  They haven't been made for years.   The red Titleist 3 is from a time when golf balls were easily cut.  Notice the "smile" above the word Titleist.  The new balls are almost cut proof.



You're supposed to mark your own ball for identification...my favorite was one that said:  "keep your head down stupid."



Some models get famous, sort of.  Slazenger 7 was the model James
Bond used when he tricked and cheated the cheating Auric Goldfinger.



None can survive the lawn mower...



some are used for advertising targeted at golfers who are gamblers...



and those who need legal help.  I guess this is targeted advertising.
 

A WORD ABOUT GOLFERS


Some have sold their sole to the Devil in exchange for golf luck...


some endanger their real soul and body by taking  risks to continue playing...


and some say they play for stress.  It works.  They get stressed.  After a poor shot this golfer's club was thrown further than the ball!


A WORD ABOUT GOLF COURSES


UWF owns a beautiful one...Scenic Hills.


It's beautiful but not easy.


 It's a challenging course but some might argue that it should be longer in light of today's equipment and athletes if the next level of golfer and event is to be attracted.   Those unfamiliar with golf should know that most courses have more than one length usually marked by different color tees.  Scenic Hills is actually 4 courses in one. The championship tees at Scenic Hills are gold and the course played from those tees is 6,730 yards.   Blue tees are used on a 6,317 yard course.  White tees are 6,021 yards and the red tees mark a course of 5,150 yards.  Obviously, all players use the same greens.

Some comparisons are in order: 
Augusta National, home of the Masters Tournament, is 7,435 yards…over 700 yards longer than Scenic Hills.
Congressional is 7,568 yards…over 800 yards longer.
Doral is 7,125 yards…almost 400 yards longer.
Bethpage, a US Open site, is 7,386 yards…over 650 yards longer.
The Pines in Massachusetts is a whopping 8,325 yards…over 1,625 yards longer!  (That's over .9 mile!)
Purgatory Golf Course in Indiana is 7,754 yards…over 1,050 yards longer.  (It includes a 741 yard par 5!)

Scenic Hills is a very historic course.  It is the only one in Florida to have hosted  a professional "Major" tournament.  The 1969 LPGA Open was held here.  Donna Caponi won by sinking a 4 foot putt on the final hole! 
GOLF CHAMPION

No talk about golf in Pensacola can ignore two-time Masters Champ, part owner of the
Blue Wahoos baseball team, businessman and all around good guy...Bubba Watson!



2016
Pensacola Is A Caring Community
"Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable.  These ties we cannot see, but we can feel them.  I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is part of me.  I see a friend hurt, and it pains me, too: my friend and I are one.  And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me.  Does this not prove that each of us is only a part of a whole?"                     
                                                                                                                                                                         Nikola Tesla
                                                                                                                         
Some Coming Attractions     
January

Little Theater  Studio TEN EVENTS
          January Through August
See: pensacolalittletheatre.com
Barry Manilow   Bay Center 1-28
See GOARGOS.com For UWF Sports
Swimming, Basketball
Monthly Gallery Night  Fridays
   Beginning 1-15-2016
February

Mardi Gras  2-6
Swan Lake Ballet  2-11-12 through 2-11-14,
          And 11-19&20
Pensacon 2-19
See GOARGOS.com For UWF Sports
   Basketball,  Baseball, Tennis
Gallery Night  Friday 2-19
March

Joe Satriano at Saenger   3-15

See GOARGOS.com For UWF Sports
Gallery Night  Friday   3-18
April

Jazz Fest 4-1
Blue Wahoos Opener 4-12
Bands On The Beach  Weekly
        4-5-16 Tuesdays until October
Crawfish Festival 4-29
Gallery Night  Friday  4-15
May

Hangout Fest 5-20
Blue Wahoos Baseball
Gallery Night  Friday  5-20
Bands On The Beach  Every Tuesday
June

Blue Wahoos Baseball
Gallery Night  Friday  6-17
Bands On The Beach  Every Tuesday
July

Beach Air Show Blue Angels 7-16
Blue Wahoos Baseball
Gallery Night  Friday  7-22
Bands On The Beach  Every Tuesday
August

Blue Wahoos Baseball
Gallery Night  Friday 8-19
Bands On The Beach  Every Tuesday
September

UWF FOOTBALL OPENER  9-16
UWF  Soccer
Taste Of The Beach  9-23
Songwriter.s Festival 9-29
Seafood Festival  9-30
Gallery Night  Friday 9-16
Bands On The Beach  Every Tuesday
October

Greek Festival 10-14
Pensacola Fair 10-20
UWF  Football, Soccer
& Volleyball
Gallery Night  Friday 10-21
November

Songwriter's Festival  11-3
Foo Foo Festival  11-4
Gulfcoast Arts Festival 11-4
Blue Angels Homecoming  11-11
Pensacola Marathon  11-13
Gallery Night  Friday 11-18
December

UWF Sports   Basketball, Volleyball
Gallery Night  Friday 12-16
 
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH PENSACOLA ACTIVITIES

INWEEKLY Free Newspaper   News about weekly Bands On The Beach, Gallery Nights and other activities...a great newspaper!
balletpensacola.com  Multiple Events
pensacolalittletheatre  Multiple Events
pensacolaopera.
compensacolasymphony.com
pensacolasaenger.com
vinylmusichall.com
wuwf.org   Radio
pensacolamuseum.org
goargos.com  For UWF Athletic Events
bluewahoos.com  Professional Baseball
T.T. Wentworth Museum
Pensacola Historic Village
Naval Aviation Museum
Pensacola Museum of Art
UWF Calendar http://uwf.edu/offices/marketing/resources/calendars
Pensacola State College calendar  http://www.pensacolastate.edu/calendars-and-schedules
Gallery Night & Night Life Info  http://www.visitpensacola.com/listings/%5Blist_id%5D-87

TRACK AND FIELD
1-5-16
Our local university doesn't have a track and field team.  There is a cross country team for both men and women but no track and field program.  As a matter of fact, only six schools in the Gulf South Conference have track and field programs.  It really doesn't seem like the sport enjoys as much of a following in this country as it once had...and still has in several other countries.  If that's true I think it could be because we have so many other college and professional sports that offer fame and fortune to top athletes.  It's like soccer.  Could you imagine some of our fastest athletes growing up in a culture where soccer was stressed as it is on other continents?  Picture Michael Jordan growing up in a soccer culture and becoming a striker or a goal keeper.

That doesn't mean we can't enjoy the sport or marvel in the athletes who do participate even if they aren't our biggest, strongest and fastest. People have been competing in similar sports since Phidippides ran the first marathon in 490 BC...and collapsed and died.  That brings to mind a Values.com commercial from which I copied the following photo.  You might remember the commercial.  A race was long over. The street was empty. No spectators, fans or officials remained.  Workers were cleaning up the litter and had taken the finish line banner down. That's when a worker saw an overweight  middle aged man who was stumbling along, gasping for breath.  Blood had caked on both knees presumably from falling more than once along the road.  Workers stared in admiration and one of them quickly got the  finish line banner back up.  http://www.values.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/124-finish-line


I think the writers could have come up with a hilarious finish.  You have to admit it would be funny if the banner read: Finish Line  100 Yard Dash.  I can laugh about that because I've felt just about as bad after a race.  It was the early 1980s and I ran a full marathon in Terre Haute Indiana in July.  It was hot and humid along the Wabash River.  I weighed almost 240 lbs when the race started and it took me 4 hrs and 3 minutes.  A friend who was a serious marathon runner looked at my time and asked if I had been carrying a cooler and picnic basket.  He was close.  Somewhere around the 20 mile mark I found myself carrying a large refrigerator on my back.  For a long time I believed I was one of the heaviest people to run a marathon.  Not even close...the list of heavier runners is longer (and probably faster.)  It is topped off with a man named Kelly Gneiting who ran a marathon in 2011.  He is a Sumo wrestler and started the race at 430 lbs.  It's a true story.  And yes, I beat his time smart aleck.

We were photographing a cross country meet and had seen the women's contest end long before.  We had a few minutes to get ready for the men's race  when a young woman came trotting down the path.  "I got lost" she said sheepishly.  She was from a visiting school.  Coaches,  count your runners before you board the bus.


Starting The 100 Yard Dash
Today, 100 meters can be run at 9.6 seconds or better.
About 100 years ago the time was 10.8 seconds.



THE HIGH JUMP

In 100 years the high jump has gone from 6'6" to 8'

THE POLE VAULT

In about 100 years the pole vault has progressed from 13' to over 20'.

THE SHOT PUT

The shot put has gone from 51' to 75'

BIKE RACING WAS ONCE A TRACK AND FIELD EVENT IN THE LATE 1800s.




AIN'T THAT A KICK!
1-4-16
The more things change, the more they stay the same!

I've seen a few of these on campus and in town...Converse "Chuck Taylor" All Stars...we spent much of our youth wearing these shoes although I later switched to the low cut version because my hero Bill Russel and the rest of the Boston Celtics wore them.  All Stars are said to be the most popular basketball shoe model ever. Before you disagree, note that Converse had little competition while today's player can pick from among Nike—with a ton of different models including the famous Air Jordans. Adidas (Created by a man named Adi Dassler),  Reebok (Sounds like an animal hunted by Cheetahs in Africa) and Under Armour (That brand sounds like you wrap your feet up in underwear for shoes.) There are probably others—it's not a topic I keep up with.  We had little choice in the old days.  It was the $8.10 Chuck Taylors (In red, white, black or green) or the $2 Red Ball Jets, US Keds or BF Flyers that weren't nearly as cool or supportive...cool being the main selling point.  The cheaper brands came with a measure of ridicule for the unlucky wearer. Today, some colleges and most pros have shoe contracts and make big bucks to wear and endorse various models.  It's a little known fact that I was the first high school athlete in the country to be offered a shoe contract.  That's right.  A sales rep was in town selling Converse shoes and he saw me play.  After a quick call to the home office, the man offered me $25 NOT to wear their shoes.  That's a shoe contract, right?

That brings us to the question of who is, or was, Chuck Taylor?  He led an outlaw gang in a violent crime spree in the early 1930s.  He and his mob robbed 24 banks for money and 4 police stations for weapons.  He is most famous for...oh wait, I'm sorry.  I looked up "famous shooters" in Wikipedia and I read the article without looking at the title—it was actually about John Dillinger, not basketball shooter, Chuck Taylor. Sorry about that.  The real Chuck Taylor was an Indiana high school basketball player during the First World War. He later designed the basketball shoe that bears his name.  He was an excellent salesman and designer.  The Converse "Chuck Taylor" All Star was a well designed product.  It continues to sell and I guess for about $50 or so.

  
UWF SWIMMING & DIVING
1-2-16
I'm not sure who is responsible for the aquatic center on the UWF campus.  It looks to me to be a very well designed facility.  What is more amazing is it was built BEFORE UWF had a swimming and diving team.  I think that's called forward thinking. A largely recreation usage converted to a site for competition without remodeling.   It's a large building as you can see from  the few photos I've included from those we took on January 2nd.  The architect made great use of glass for both lighting and looks.  The architects and planners included bleachers that can be used for fans at meets and for educational uses.










(The cable with the blue and white banners is needed to warn people swimming the backstroke etc. that the end of the pool is close.)
SOME PHOTOS FROM 1-2-16
  

2016
THE YEAR PENSACOLA JOINED THE EXCITING WORLD OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL!

A LITTLE HISTORY OF THE SPORT
It's been over 125 years since institutions such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton took the lead in creating the rules and traditions that became American college football.  In 1887 one scribe  stated the game had found little favor in the South.  OK, he was a skilled writer but he came up short as a prophet.  In 1887, the aforementioned schools were joined by such teams including Michigan, Tufts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Notre Dame.  The following sketches are from that year.  The early field measured 330 feet by 160 feet and it was striped in a grid of 5 yard lengths to make measuring penalties easier.  That's the origin of the term "gridiron."


Was this a quarterback sneak or a draw play?

 Football in the later 1800s resembled modern day Rugby and Australian rules football as much as the modern game that's coming to town this year.  Of course you'll notice the equipment...or the lack of it.The ball was egg shaped and the players didn't get helmets or masks until the 1900s.  Concussions are all the sports talk rage today and even Hollywood is weighing in.  Injuries were common in the early days and the year before this sketch appeared in print, at least two players died from injuries.  Fist fights were not unheard of.  Injuries became such a problem that the sport was abandoned by some schools.  Around the turn of the century, President Teddy Roosevelt tried to intervene and urge safety rules.  Eventually violent tactics like the "flying wedge" were outlawed and players could no longer link arms in a V formation and crash into defenders with a ball carrier behind.  In the early days they managed to outlaw tackles above the neck and below the hips.



Tackling?  A defender could grab and hold a runner and yell "held" to force another scrimmage line to be formed.  A defender could also throw a runner to the ground and hold him down until he yelled "down."  The runner could get up and continue running if no one held him down.  A player who avoided capture could touch the ball down in the opponent's end zone to score what was spelled a "touch-down."  Teams had plays to run and the quarter-back sometimes called out coded messages before he received the "snap" from his "center-rush" and began the running play—thus the "audible" entered football. Passes were common but they had to be sideways or backwards.  No forward pass was allowed and an attempt would merit a penalty.  Rules for blocking were evolving.  At first, blocking was little more than getting in a defender's way or pretending to fall into him.

A runner fights to touch the ball down for a 4 point score.


Clothesline?


There were four ways to score and games were very low scoring without forward passes.  There were also no first downs.  A team on offense could run play after play and use up much of an entire half on one drive. As I said, forward passing was not allowed so every play from scrimmage was a running play.  Even today we refer to the action as "running" a play. I'm not sure why a team would ever punt but they could score a "safety-touchdown" by tackling a ball player in his own end zone. A field goal ( by place kick with a holder or a drop kick where the ball is kicked as it hits the ground) counted 5 points!  A touch-down counted 4 points.  After a touch-down a team was allowed to try a 2 point kick conversion from anywhere they chose on the field.  To score the extra point a player would lie on the ground and hold the ball for the kicker.  The other way to score was the 2 point safety touch-down for tackling a player in his own end zone.  To avoid fumbling a punt a player could call a fair catch.  While doing so he had to grind a mark into the field with his heal to mark the spot where his team could line up for a scrimmage.


There was a lot of "foot" in early football...a 5 point score.  The goal post was 10 feet high and 18 1/2 feet wide. Notice the player
who had held the ball for the placekick attempt and notice also, how the artist saw the kicker lean to urge a little body English.

The game, especially in the Northeast, featured large, enthusiastic crowds.  The game was valued for being a way to keep people in physical shape.  In some places the game became a real spectacle.  Fans dressed in special colors and shouted special slogans and cheers.  One school, Princeton,  didn't have a medical school or a law school (they still don't) and they used the game of football to attract graduate and undergraduate students. I believe that was the forerunner of modern alumni and booster groups raising money for the school.  Sadly, an article in Century Magazine stated in 1887 that injuries were a problem with football but the biggest threat to the sport was betting. The magazine also talked about pressure put on players and faculty to keep players eligible. The game spilled over into everyday life on campus as intramural football became popular with the best players joining the varsity team and the rest playing for dorms or other organizations..


Lining up for a scrimmage circa 1887—entering the neutral zone before a snap was a common violation.

Walter Camp is credited by many to be the father of modern football.  To promote the game he began selecting an All American team two years after this sketch was publicized.  As I recall, one of his greatest idea was the introduction of first downs.  A team had 3 tries to gain 5 yards or give up the ball.  Of course the introduction of the forward pass in 1895 changed the game forever.  At least one sportswriter credits 2 Southern teams (Georgia and North Carolina  I think) with creating the forward pass.


Some things never change...a fumble.  Nobody knows who the first coach was but you can bet turnovers drove him crazy.
 
HAPPY NEW YEAR

In our culture it seems like celebrations such as Christmas and New Years tend to evoke nostalgia.  The Grateful Dead sang these lyrics:  "What a long strange trip it's been"  and "Mama, Mama, many worlds I've come since I first left home."  Please bear with me as I meander back in time.

I was born about the time World War II was ending.  The first glimpse of a mushroom cloud had been visible over the last of our enemies.  Sadly, I can't think of many days since then when war or the threat of war wasn't in the air. Today, many things have changed.  The threat of war and the actuality of it are not among those changes.  I want to believe though, that old times were simpler times anyway.   I am a child of what has been called the Golden Age Of Radio.  I'm sorry to offend you but the radio of those days was  far superior to the television you watch.

Mid to late 1960s. 
This tiny room contained everything I owned as I attended a small college in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  The poster was a gift from a girl.  The books were mine and their presence was not negotiable but the radio was very special.  It was the link to far away places.  At night it brought distant places into the room.  With that came the Jazz, early Rock and Rhythm & Blues that defined, excited and comforted a generation.  By this time the Golden Age of Radio was falling prey to television.  Generations may have warred against each other in that age old struggle but they all surrendered to the lockstep crush of television.  Radio dramas, news and comedy fought off the onslaught for as long as possible but by 1970 the greatness of radio was fading like one of its cowboy heroes riding off into the sunset.

From out of Nashville we had the late night voice of John R on station 1510, WLAC.  He broadcast for a record company...Ernie's Record Mart.  For the "kids" reading this, a record is this round vinyl disc that emits a sound when spun on something called a turntable. John R gave us the music that was censored by other stations...Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Big Bill Broonzy, Etta James and so much more.  Late one night I heard Wilson Pickett for the first time.  John R didn't play the white wannabe copycats, he played the real deal.

The radio dramas and serials were gems.  Unlike TV, one had to think and visualize to encounter radio. Imagination was stimulated. Sadly, like some kind of cultural dialectical materialism, it was as if scattering the seeds of our own destruction was a virtue.  The good things on radio evolved (or deteriorated) into what passes for entertainment today.  Programs such as Gunsmoke found more attractive actors to play the key characters.  Listening to the old tapes you are struck by these changes.  An actor named Howard McNear had many radio roles but the role of Doc Adams on Gunsmoke was his most famous.  You hear a serious doctor played by a man who played Floyd the Barber on the Andy Griffith/Mayberry show.  You can't take Floyd the Barber seriously.  It's as if the TV is reaching back to ridicule its roots.

Reality TV had nothing on radio for innovation.  Nightwatch was an actual ride along using a hidden microphone with the Culver City California Police Department.  The all talk/all news format of cable TV had its origin in a weekend NBC program called Monitor.  All Things Considered, Fresh Air and other National Public Radio programs remind me of Monitor.  One had to think to enjoy.  The news and talk roles were filled by people such as Lowell Thomas, Edward R Murrow, H.V. Kaltenborn, Eric Sevareid and Gabriel Heater.  Nowadays everything is a copy of some canned format giving us one tired diatribe of political commercials for one party or the other.  You know the modern commentator's opinion before he opens his mouth. We get the same narrow view and boring complaints one after another. Partisanship is sold as objective reporting and honest evaluation.  Only National Public Radio holds on to standards of objectivity. Their funding is frequently challenged.  Radio and early TV once had variety shows such as Ed Sullivan on TV and a host of others on radio.  Only Garrison Keillor remains with this format.  He does it well with his show: Prairie Home Companion.  It airs at 5 PM live on Saturday on WUWF  88.1 FM.

Garrison Keillor (Far right, standing) with his special effects sound man, ( Far left, standing) Fred Newman. Live radio could always be produced faster because the sounds were artificial and actors could look at the script as they acted.  It is almost like how the printed word can evoke so much more drama than the screen.  A veteran special effects person could create the sound of just about anything.

Treat yourself to a dose of history,,,Google "Old Time Radio" and "Golden Age of Radio" for links to the recordings that have survived.  It can get weird.  Old time programs were often sponsored by tobacco products with commercials where even doctors talk of the benefits of certain cigarette brands...maybe it all wasn't golden.

Old Time Radio
(http://www.oldradioworld.com/)


A MESSAGE FOR ALL SEASONS
  FROM MELANIE
                                                                                               Received December,  2015 From Melanie Safka

You might remember her from Woodstock and also the songs: 
Brand New Key & Look What They've Done To My Song Ma
and others.  She has toured recently with her son and also has
recently teamed with Miley Cyrus for benefit work and songs.
Melanie & Miley  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX9A5vv-jOM)
She will soon turn 69 years old but her music remains timeless.
You can check out her great old and new music on You Tube.

                                                                                                "Well if the people are buying tears I'll be rich some day Ma."

                                                                                                                                                                    Melanie Safka
                                                                                                                                                            Sad Irony, See: Tragedy

12-22-15  
I FOUND IT!
A few days ago I mentioned this:
BASEBALL RULES QUESTION

This actually happened but we didn't know it until we examined a still photo after the game.  It was women's softball and there was no instant replay.  Without replay, no human could have seen this when it happened.  A player was sliding home.  The catcher caught the throw slightly up the third base line and obviously missed the tag.  The runner was called safe and the catcher raised no question.  The photo showed one of the leather thongs from the catcher's glove actually brushed the flowing long hair of the runner. Could she have been called out?  Does a long leather thong touching a few strands of a player's long hair constitute a legal tag?
Today I found some of the photos about close plays.

She was called safe.





She was also called safe.

Out, I think...


Does stepping on a fielder's foot constitute touching the base?


At what point is the catch complete?


If you've read everything I've ever said about officials in all sports you'll see I have
concluded they are right 99.9% of the time and really don't care which team wins.


12-19-15




UWF WOMEN AND MEN VS DELTA STATE
12-19-15

WOMEN VS DELTA 12-19-15
UWF MEN VS DELTA 12-19-15



UWF WOMEN AND MEN VS MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE
12-17-15


UWF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL PHOTOS 12-17-15
UWF MEN'S BASKETBALL PHOTOS 12-17-15




12-15-15

THE GOOD THE BAD AND ME



A WARNING FOR THOSE WANTING TO VISIT FT PICKENS
12-12-15

This photo was taken in 2010 and while it looks like snow it's actually some of our beautiful white beach sand that has been blown across the road through Ft. Pickens.  The fort has been closed lately as heavy rain and wind have combined with the tides to over-run some of the roads.  When the rangers say leave or don't enter they're just trying to keep you from getting trapped until the water recedes.  There are plans to re-route the road away from the shore but of course we have world famous bird and turtle nesting areas to consider.  Ft Pickens is special but the  open public beaches in that area outside the fort are also beautiful.  On this day a northern boy drove around with his air conditioner on its coldest setting...it was like a touch of where I grew up.  I've liked everywhere I've lived...beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


12-10-15
    SOME FAVORITE PAST SHOTS IN THE PANHANDLE

Hang in there...it's always early!



Getting by with a little help from a friend...



Supply your own caption...


12-8-15
I have a sweet  young friend named Hope.  She is brilliant beyond her years.  She says:
 "Always remember who you want to be. That is a wonderful way to live."



12-8-15
SPORTS  QUESTIONS AND MUSINGS

BASKETBALL RULES QUESTION

An opposing player attempts a 3 point shot.  Your teammate  swats the ball away in a legal block.  Before the ball can land out of bounds you leap and throw the ball back over your head and back into play.Unfortunately, the ball lands in the opponent's basket.  Does the other team get 2 points or 3 points...or no points?

Let's make it a little more bizarre.  The opposing shooter attempts a 3 point shot and your teammate runs at the shooter and leaps to swat the shot away.  The block barely avoids being goal tending but after swatting the ball away your teammate crashes hard into the shooter.  You leap to throw the ball back into play before the whistle blows or the ball lands out of bounds.  Your wild retrieval lands in the opponent's basket.  Does the other team get 0 points, 2 points or 3 points?  The original shooter has been fouled on his 3 point attempt.  Does he get 0, 2 or 3 free throws?



SOCCER RULES QUESTION

A player attempts a shot on goal and a defender, other than the goal keeper,  uses his hand to accidentally bat the ball into the net from the penalty area just in front of the goal.  The penalty for a hand ball in the penalty area is a red card, disqualification and a penalty shot for the wronged team.  Is that what should happen or can the referee count the goal?  If he counts the goal is a red card issued and is there a penalty shot awarded?



FOOTBALL RULES QUESTION

(This scenario is quite bizarre but think back to Garo Yepremian and also the recent punting snafu in the Michigan-Michigan State game. )
Your team has an 11 point lead late in the game.  Your punter has the snap fly over his head.  Fearing the defense will pick up the ball and run it in for a score, the punter chases the ball and on the first bounce he attempts to kick the ball out of bounds or out of the end zone.  The bounce is erratic and his kick instead heads toward the goal and splits the uprights.  What is the call?  Safety?  Field goal for the defense?  A penalty call and repeat the down?  What penalty is called?  Drop kicks are legal...the last one done by Doug Flutie in 2006.



BASEBALL RULES QUESTION

This actually happened but we didn't know it until we examined a still photo after the game.  It was women's softball and there was no instant replay.  Without replay, no human could have seen this when it happened.  A player was sliding home.  The catcher caught the throw slightly up the third base line and obviously missed the tag.  The runner was called safe and the catcher raised no question.  The photo showed one of the leather thongs from the catcher's glove actually brushed the flowing long hair of the runner. Could she have been called out?  Does a long leather thong touching a few strands of a player's long hair constitute a legal tag?





MOST OF THESE SCENARIOS ARE A BIT WEIRD
THE MOST BIZARRE EXAMPLE WAS A FICTIONAL STORY BY CLAIR BEE

First a little history...Clair Bee was a legendary basketball and baseball coach at Long Island University.  He set a record for winning percentage and invented such things as the 1-3-1 zone and the 3 second rule. He wrote technical books on coaching. He is remembered as an inspiring author by people such as Bobby Knight...a legendary coach in his own right. The real life National Coach of the Year Award is named for Bee.  The Player Of The Year Award is named for the fictional hero of Bee's sports novels, Chip Hilton. As youngsters craving athletic careers, we devoured each book as it was released.  Bee wrote about this young fictional athlete named Chip Hilton as he traveled from high school to college and into contact with professional teams.  Each of his 24 novels trace Hilton's career in either football, basketball or baseball.  Each book (I still own all 24) has the hero solving some serious community or team problem.  He was devoted to the single mom who raised him after his great athlete father died while saving a life.  Chip and his circle of athlete friends are almost too good to be true.  The only thing Chip lacks in the stories is a girl friend.  Clair Bee tackled issues such as greed, hate and racism but he was writing in an age where sex was almost a taboo subject.  In real life when some of his Long Island University athletes disgraced him in a betting/point shaving scandal (that also involved players from the University of Kentucky) Bee resigned to never coach again.  He continued writing—disappointed but not bitter.

In the novel "Hoop Crazy" Bee's hero Chip Hilton leads his team as they travel to a bitter rival through a blizzard.  When snow finally blocks the train tracks, the team is stranded but uses its overcoats to bundle up children (orphans I think) and carry them through the blizzard to the town.  Arriving to their hotel exhausted and frozen just before game time they find the other team's evil coach insists the game be played without delay.  The exhausted team rallies around Hilton and is winning by one point as mere seconds were left.  An opposing players launches a wild throw that looks destined to go over the backboard.  As the wild heave sails it suddenly springs a leak and the escaping air zig zags the ball around like a balloon.  It comes to rest on the rim where an opposing player tips the fully deflated ball off the rim and into the net as the horn sounds.   Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are seen sneaking away with the deflated ball. 

Well, Belichick and Brady weren't there but the irate fans are so offended by their coach's unsportsmanlike conduct he eventually gets fired. 
Good continues to conquer evil wherever Chip goes.  When he returns home he finds an evil man attempting to run a con by stealing secret pottery/clay formulas created by Chip's father and worked on in the Hilton basement lab by the talented Chip.  Chip confronts the man and when he attacks Chip the hero displays his boxing skills (taught to him by his late father) and the crook is defeated.  The target of the man's con, the wealthy owner of the local pottery where Chip's father had worked as an engineer and chemist before his accidental death while he saved a careless worker,  tries to give Chip a reward but he refuses it.  Chip was determined to pay his own way through life and worked his way through high school and refused an athletic scholarship to the university—choosing to work, study and be a star athlete without help.  Chip was an excellent student, an excellent amateur chemist, a skilled boxer, a football quarterback, receiver, punter, place kicker and runner.  He also played defense.  In basketball he was 6-2 and could handle every position.  He had serious hops. Chip could jump holding a ball in each hand and dunk each on the same jump.  He won a fictional national shooting contest.   In baseball he was a gifted athlete who could throw with either hand and  pitch a great fastball and knuckle ball.  He was an excellent hitter who hit for power but also was a great base runner.  Chip would often take time on his way to a game to stop and heal a leper  or two and hear confessions.  He was always a team leader who often had to straighten out a fuzzy thinking, envious or disruptive teammate.  His "good" teammates included great "fellows"  with names like Speed, Biggie, Soapy, Fireball, Taps,  Big Stud,  Beer Guzzler and Reefer.  No, wait, I'm sorry.  Those last 3 are from my circle of friends.  In the final volume Chip works in the summer for the CIA in a secret facility in his home town disguised as the Valley Falls Pottery Museum.  While dismantling a captured nuclear device, Chip trusts his best friend Soapy to help him.  Not realizing Soapy is color blind, Chip tells him to clip the blue wire but not the green.  Valley Falls is wiped off the map.  Or maybe not.


12-13-15 UPDATE
FURTHER CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF OUR HERO  CHIP
AND HIS FICTIONAL THREE SPORT COACH HENRY ROCKWELL
A lighter thought...remember when the Cincinnati Bengals  were so bad a couple of coaches of opposing teams allegedly got fired the week after losing to the Bengals?  It was said to be a "final straw" kind of thing. It was apparently far worse to lose to Chip, Soapy, Speed and Biggie.  Every one of those schools apparently no longer exists.  Thanks to the Internet I've researched and colleges like Wilson Tech, Southern, Carlton, Wesleyan,  Crampton, Ramsey Seminary, Templeton, North, Southwestern, State Teachers,  Midwestern Prep and a whole bunch of others not ONLY ENDED THEIR ATHLETIC PROGRAMS AFTER A LOSS TO CHIP AND THE BOYS, THEY APPARENTLY CLOSED THE WHOLE SCHOOL!  There is no trace on the Internet.  Their last public mention is their losing effort against "State."  They've gone the way of Garner Ted Armstrong's Ambassador College.  By the way, Chip, like his father, starred at State.  Was that THEE Ohio State?  Indiana?  The Purdue, West Virginia? Or two of my favorites,  THEE IUPUI and The State of Confusion? Bee himself grew up in the Midwest.  The mighty Chip achieves near super hero status.  In just a few years he beats up several miscreants to straighten them out.  He wins a national shooting championship while befriending a troubled little boy and "fixing" his family.  He straightens out a State fan who has allowed his farm to fall into hard times.  He gets a buddy cleared of an armed robbery charge.  He solves the family problems of a Chinese American dribbling wizard, He saves the local pottery from a con man and on and on and on.  All the while he's worked his way through college, refusing an athletic scholarship on principle. Hey, it was the 1950s and I was just a little boy. There were worse role models.

Too bad Clair Bee didn't write a final volume where the State University Athletic Department disintegrates  when it's learned Chip, Soapy and Speed are at the center of a point shaving scandal orchestrated by the bookmaking operation of Henry Rockwell and Biggie Cohen.  "The Rock"  and Biggie turn out to be the inspiration for  characters in The Godfather.  Chip and the boys go the way of Alex Groza, Ralph Beard  and Bill Spivey—real players at the University Of Kentucky.  The scandal comes to light when Chip tightens a winning margin by scoring the last eight points of a game in the wrong basket!  Chip was quoted after the game: "Golly, when a fellow is open he's got to sink that two handed set shot."  Soapy and Speed  each driving a Lamborghini on their wages at the local drug store ice cream counter didn't help.


WHAT IF?

The first football forward pass is alleged to have  involved Knute Rockne.  That may or may not be accurate but on the first ever pass, the referee did have to make the judgement that the play was legal.  The rules surrounding the pass have evolved from that first pass.  Wouldn't football be a different game if an otherwise incomplete forward pass that hits the ground is a "live" ball?  Can you imagine the scene as defensive back and receiver vie for the ball?  It would be a totally different game.

Football legend has it that a touchdown was only awarded when the ball carrier actually touched the ball down in the end zone.   Supposedly he could be tackled and thrown back out of the end zone before touching the ball down. Breaking the "plane" came later.  Can you imagine the game where a score only was made by actually touching the ball down?

It was once proposed that the advantage in basketball of being 7 foot tall could be nullified by raising the basket to 11 or 12 feet so almost no one could ever dunk the ball or goal tend.  Imagine that game.  Cooler heads prevailed and the 3 second rule and the goal tending rule saved the game.  Here's an interesting question…what would the game look like if instead of raising the goal they had lowered it to 8 or 9 feet?

Women's basketball doesn't need to be fixed, thank you.  I get to follow the University of West Florida team with its shooting skills and rebounding and tenacious defense.  I try to follow Connecticut, Tennessee and Notre Dame among others on TV.  This is a "what if?" article so consider this.  I estimate the average college female basketball player is about 90% or less of the height of an average male player.  How would the women's game look if the basket was set at 8 feet or 9 feet?  I don't have a clue about jumping ability between the two but with more height would come longer arms.  They already use a ball with a smaller diameter, what's so sacred about the 10 foot rim.

Back to baseball…who created the games with 9 innings of 3 outs each?  Would you prefer a game of 3 innings with 9 outs each inning?  Let's be crazy…how about one inning of 27 outs…no, that's too ludicrous to consider but the 3 inning—9 out thing is interesting. Am I correct in thinking more runs would be scored?

What would it be like to return to old school methods?  I grew up in an atmosphere a lot like the movie Hoosiers.  The two handed set shot was rapidly disappearing in the onslaught of the radical new jump shot.  Anything but a dribble using the fingers and about half of your palm was called palming the ball and was a violation.  It was all but impossible to dribble behind your back without a violation. What we now call goal tending was legal...if you could do it.  There were no shot clocks.  You could stall an entire game simply by dribbling around or standing still with the ball.  Then just as now, the pick and roll and the give and go were the basis of everything.  The women in some places played a game with 6 players,  Three stayed at each end and couldn't cross the center line or take more than 2 or  3 bounces of the ball before shooting or passing. Iowa and Oklahoma didn't give this version up until the 1990s. Football was even worse.  My first helmet had no face mask. (In the NFL Bobby Layne retired in 1962  having never worn a face mask) Thank God leather helmets had disappeared.  No one had a mouth guard and blockers couldn't use their hands to control defenders. Chop blocks were legal. In baseball we wore heavy, baggy fitting uniforms and batting helmets were optional.  Some wore them while others sometimes wore a light weight liner inside their hat for dubious protection.  My first catchers mitt was as stiff as second base. You had to catch two-handed, leaving your uncovered hand vulnerable to foul tips. Most schools didn't have trainers and coaches would "pop" a dislocated knuckle or even a shoulder back in place.  In all sports, drinking water during practice or games was a forbidden  show of weakness.  Instead of water we were offered salt tablets.  Trainers reading this just shuddered. Weight training was discouraged for all except football players. Basketball players were advised to improve their jumping with many repetitions of deep knee bends—sometimes while shouldering heavy sets of prison weights. I think the trainers and strength coaches just shuddered again. They were the good old days and we wouldn't trade them for anything...except maybe a good knee or two.







UWF VS UNA 
12-5-15

MORE PHOTOS FROM 12-5-15


UWF MEN VS UNA
12-5-15

MORE PHOTOS FROM 12-5-15


UWF WOMEN VS UAH  12-2-15

CLICK HERE FOR WOMEN'S BASKETBALL 12-2-15

UWF VS UAH  12-2-15

CLICK HERE FOR MEN'S BASKETBALL 12-2-15



SKY SHOW
THINGS ARE LOOKING UP IN UNIQUE WESTERN FLORIDA

From Past Editions Of This Site


My design...sea gulls escaping a photograph...




Osprey preparing sushi at Ft. Pickens...




Barrier Island sunset...




Lady in flight...




Freedom in practice...




WW I style...




Clouds, sand dunes and salty air...



Keep your eyes open around the forests on the UWF campus for eagles...I've seen several...




Almost full...




Rainbow over Western Florida




Big sun over Pensacola




Artificial sky shows are frequent in Unique Western Florida...




We're a Continental Subtropical area...don't do what these guys did during a thunder storm...trees are targets not shelters...




Nature bids goodnight with one more sky show...


'I WASN'T BORN IN WESTERN FLORIDA BUT I GOT HERE AS SOON AS I COULD.'


11-28-15
UWF WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

MORE PHOTOS OF THE WIN OVER YOUNG HARRIS


11-24-15
UWF MEN'S BASKETBALL IS HERE

LENDWARD GRIFFIN IS BACK!
SOME PHOTOS FROM THE WIN OVER SPRING HILL



11-23-15

REMEMBERING RON BESSER

UWF PHOTOGRAPHER AND MAN ABOUT CAMPUS

Can it really be almost 5 years since UWF's greatest fan and beloved "Paparazzi" left us?


I liked my friend Ron Besser. That puts me in a group with a population roughly that of the state of New York. Ron made friends easily. He could talk your ear off and then listen intently while you returned the favor. Ron liked people. He liked to learn and he liked to share his knowledge. He had a lot to say only because he really knew a lot.

My friend and I disagreed on much. If you knew him you knew of his sincere political beliefs. My beliefs are somewhere else on the political spectrum. Still, we agreed on love of country and flag. We shared a goal if not the path to get there. We disagreed without being disagreeable…would that the politicians learned from my friend.

In sports he was the Buffalo Bills and I was the Cincinnati Bengals. Together we experienced the dubious record of 6 Super Bowl losses in 6 attempts. We were "old school" in our attitudes toward values in sports. We admired the people who represented UWF. We were appreciative of the UWF athletic leaders who exhibited values we respected while being thoroughly modern and incredibly successful.

In photography, he was Nikon with an emphasis on using the Sports Mode. I'm Canon and struggle with Aperture Value. Of course I'm right and the only reason his photographs were always better was because he was always better...a lot better.

We agreed much more than we disagreed. We were both Mac addicts and shared the frustrations of processing photos via that path. We talked about history and agreed on the need to encourage more people, not fewer, to learn about the past. We commiserated over how the old radio and TV of our youth required more thought than much of today's offerings. Still, we remained observers, and critics, of those same modern programs. Most of all, we agreed that we each had a wife who couldn't have been more of a source of joy, love and companionship.

The community has lost a friend but gained fond memories and a shining example of how one should approach learning and friendship. Some will call him a Renaissance man. Others will just be content to call him a friend. I'll miss Ron Besser. Confucius said it best, "A faultless man I cannot hope ever to meet, the most I can hope for is to meet a man of fixed principles."


From UWFPHOTO.com
December, 2010




11-23-15
UWF VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

TOURNAMENT PHOTOS
11-21-15
11-22-15


11-18-15
THE GRATEFUL DEAD
A MOVEABLE FEAST BY ANY NAME

This site has this in the title: "Recording life in Western Florida and beyond." Please allow me to briefly go "beyond."  The Grateful Dead family has been providing great music that extends from good time happy go lucky tunes to serious existential themes. One of their songs ( A Box Of Rain) says: "Believe it if you need it, if you don't just pass it on."  A popular song refers to a woman/girl named Sugar Magnolia:  "Head's all empty but I don't care."  It's posturing not preaching.  It is tempered by someone lamenting his coming demise:  "Mama, Mama, many worlds I've come since I first left home."  Then there is a classic song usually saved for the second set when the fog and chilling air roll in...The Wheel:  
Small wheel turn by the fire and rod,
Big wheel turn by the grace of god,
Every time that wheel turn round,
Bound to cover just a little more ground.

The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and you can't hold on,
You can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.
 
The basic concept of the Grateful Dead has been around since the Sixties.  Whether they be called Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, The Warlocks, The Other Ones,  Furthur (spelling intentional) or the current Dead And Company,  they have been unique. Typical set lists could range from something by Lightning Hopkins to Dylan and on to Buddy Holly and even the Beatles.  Mostly though, they sing their own songs written by them and songwriters John Barlow and Robert Hunter.  Along the way they have embraced such luminaries as Neal Cassady (of Jack Kerouac's circle) to the straight laced Bruce Hornsby.  They have never been a huge studio band.  I've been fortunate to hear and see all of the current tour shows. Live is best.  Herman Hesse was correct when his character in Steppenwolf said the proper way to experience music is live.  The next best thing is electronic.  All "Dead" shows make it to tape (I have a thousand hours of deteriorating tapes from shows where the band would give us special tickets to bring in sound equipment such as huge shotgun mikes and stands—something they still do..)  The current shows are already making the rounds and even reaching YouTube.  I still prefer the live events but it is nice to hear the shows a second or third time.  Considered the grandfather of jam bands, they proved it tonight with an extended version of the song "Deal."  As is often the case, the band has no prepared set list.  Instead, they appear to negotiate among themselves with bits and pieces of instrumental hints about what might be next. In one memorable event (Hampton '88 I think), the band was trading these musical licks when they suddenly found the opening sounds of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up."   The tune and chords are unmistakable.  Unfortunately, no one knew much more than the first line and familiar notes.  They sang "Stir it up, little darlin'" a couple of times and went back to their search. It remains the shortest song they ever did.  At times it will seem that an entire set is merely one song with specific songs being woven into the fabric.  There is nothing quite like it today although Phish and The Dave Matthews Band are in the ball park.  The only constants in Dead shows are long drum solos called "Drums" followed by an excursion beyond this planet called "Space."  They blend right back into the set at hand.

ABOUT JERRY GARCIA

The late Jerry Garcia has always been considered to be one of the main founders of the band.  Certainly he remains a seminal influence.  I never met him or his best fan, basketball star Bill Walton.  I do share an experience of sorts.  Walton counts an unusual set of influences as the main ones in his life.  Coach John Wooden and Jerry Garcia couldn't be more different yet Walton, like me, considers his old coach and Garcia as the major influences in life.  It works for Walton and it is also true for me. Though my coach wasn't named Wooden and I never got even close to that level, he was just as important to me as Walton's coach was to him.  Here are some interesting links if you want to share what we hear and feel.  Due to a flaw in my WYSIWYG program you will have to cut and paste the URLs.
"The Wheel"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYGatUl8PMQ  
The haunting and poignant "Stella Blue"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y1Q5_M3ZKQ
The iconic "Dark Star" going into "Wharf Rat" and back into "Dark Star"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmjQmyd9Oro

The band is aging but also youthful.  Bassist Phil Lesh at 75 is being capably sat in for by Oteil Burbridge on this tour. The great new guitar and vocals member is John Mayer, a mere child at 38.  Both drummers Bill Kreutzmann  and Mickey Hart are in their early 70s and haven't slowed.  In his 30s, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti is anyone's equal on the piano and Hammond B-3. Front man Bob Weir approaches 70 with great energy and skill. The audience, called Deadheads, range in age from hip beyond their years high schoolers to those in their 70s and 80s.  They all are part of the family and many still travel from venue to venue.   Many Deadheads far exceed the 100+ shows I have seen.  The set lists continue to swing from all kinds of Rock to Folk to Country & Western to R & B and more. I have a ton of stories and observations from my continued encounter with this legendary band.  I'll stop here.  I'm  amazed anyone read this far.




THE UWF VOLLEYBALL TEAM WINS THE GSC  (Again)



Just because it's been said before doesn't mean it shouldn't be said again.  There is a reason the UWF Volleyball Team is the class of the Gulf South Conference and for that matter, the NCAA.  Melissa Wolter is proof that you can lead with character and still be a champion.  It's no accident that she attracts and recruits assistant coaches and players of great character.  Nobody knows more about her sport but it doesn't end there.  She communicates that knowledge.  Year after year after year she triumphs in sport and character.  The sign says "Champions Win Here."  We're fortunate to have such a young woman who has the wisdom of an older coach yet has the same incredible energy and effort she gets from her young players.  Words fail but that's OK.  UWF fans know what I'm trying to say.  Thanks coach—not just for what you do but HOW you do it.
SOME RANDOM PHOTOS FROM SENIOR NIGHT

UWF DEFEATED UAH 3-0 AND BRINGS THE GSC TOURNAMENT BACK TO PENSACOLA

HIGHLIGHTS FROM 11-14-15


11-9-15
ANOTHER GREAT FAMILY WEEKEND!
You didn't have to go to the beach, zoo or fine dining spot to have a good time!

THERE WAS GREAT FOOTBALL RIGHT HERE



MORE SCRIMMAGE PHOTOS

ROBOTS BRIEFLY TOOK OVER UWF!
IT WAS A FANTASTIC EVENT WITH A HUGE AND ENTHUSIASTIC CROWD



VOLUNTEERS ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF MANY GREAT EVENTS.



BEING SMART IS A VIRTUE IN PENSACOLA'S HOME SCHOOLS, PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS!


DOWNTOWN FEATURED A GREAT FESTIVAL WITH BOOTHS, FOOD AND FUN!
THE HIGHLIGHT WAS ANOTHER GREAT  PERFORMANCE FROM THE PEOPLE AT THE LITTLE THEATER

THIS WAS ONE OF SEVERAL DISPLAY AREAS.


WE WERE TREATED TO THE HISTORY OF THEATER FROM THE ANCIENT GREEKS TO BROADWAY!


ARGOS DEFEAT CBU  4-1
GSC TOURNAMENT

MORE TOURNAMENT PHOTOS


11-2-15
RECENT UWF SOCCER AND VOLLEYBALL GAMES
10-30-15 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL

10-31-15 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL

10-31-15 WOMEN'S SOCCER



10-28-15
IT'S PENSACOLA
WE'RE ABOUT THE SEA

Playing in the Gulf Of Mexico
A sea of diamonds as far as you can see...

SURFING IN THE GULF

It's not Rincon or Makaha but it's also not the crowded California beaches either.
An intrepid member of the Pensacola surfing community...

TALL SHIPS AND BIG SHIPS VISIT THE DEEP PENSACOLA HARBOR



THE MIGHTY ORISKANY MADE PENSACOLA ITS FINAL STOP

The Oriskany was towed out and sunk as a reef and diving feature.

There are ships and then there are SHIPS
The San Pelaya shares the harbor with the Nor Goliath...



The Spanish Galeon San Pelaya is visiting until early November.

This reproduced galeon is similar to the ship Pensacola founder DeLuna used.

Ships come in all sizes in Pensacola.


The Nor Goliath is a construction vessel currently "laid up" in Pensacola.  It's about 590 feet long.
Elsewhere...the Seawise Giant tanker ship dwarfs the Nor Goliath.  It is over 1500 feet long.

Battleships and aircraft carriers compare with our 911 foot Oriskany.
Iowa Class battleships are 885 feet long while the Carrier Enterprise was 1122 feet long.

I had a 12 foot aluminum  fishing boat in Ohio.  (Just seeing if you were awake)



UWF MEN AND WOMEN VS DELTA

UWF MEN VS DELTA 10-23-15
UWF WOMEN VS DELTA 10-23-15


PHOTOS OF UWF MEN AND WOMEN BEATING MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE
10-25-15


UWF WOMEN VS MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

UWF MEN VS MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE








10-22-15
FOR THE WOMEN WE LOVE
THE FOUNTAIN NEAR THE SOUTH END OF PALAFOX IS PLAYING PINK

BREAST CANCER IS THE ENEMY.  Women and men can be afflicted. Mostly it is women who are victimized.  Everyone knows to have the tests you need.  Now do it.  Pink is the adopted color of those at war with breast cancer.  All cancer is the enemy and my male friends also know tests may be used for the cancers common to men.  It's not a competition between those with various forms of this disease.  Mine is not breast cancer, skin cancer,  lung cancer or one of those traditional male versions of the disease.  I was told I was Stage Three and that the disease "had gotten ahead of us."  There are great doctors and I have one of the best imaginable.  He says he threw everything including the kitchen sink at my disease.  Chemotherapy is serious business.  You'll never hear me say "chemo."  That word makes it sound like the nickname of an old friend.  My doctor says he is ready to battle again if remission disappears.   If you don't smoke, don't start.  If you do smoke, stop right now.  If you suspect something is wrong, have it checked.  


10-17-15
UWF FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE AT WAHOOS STADIUM
What a venue...what a team!

School Is In Session:  Kick Returning 101
Running around, over and through would-be tacklers
MORE SCRIMMAGE PHOTOS
SCRIMMAGE 10-24-15

10-12-15
A Message For Students Of All Ages From An Old Friend Of Mine:
"Why is education the one thing where people are trying to get the least for their money?"

I had forgotten that quote but was reminded of it this week.  My friend Wilhelm  Exelbirt was one of the smartest people I've ever known.  His doctorate was from the University of Vienna. He came to America when I was still a kid.  He'd already played "You Bet Your Life" with the Nazis.  His depth of knowledge was incredible and he tempered it with kind humor.  He wasn't afraid to defend and support a student whose ego made him think he knew everything about everything just because he knew something about something.  I dedicate this view to his memory.  It's old school black and white...just like him.  An intellectual who challenged hate and mastered several languages—smiling, he once told me in frustration of his biggest problem with adjusting to modern America, "I just can't get used to zippers replacing buttons."

The education quote was brought back to mind after
 reading  ALONG THE WAY L'Chaim To Life by
Stewart Flate and available through Google Books




10-11-15 SOCCER PHOTOS

Click for photos of UWF vs UNA


Click here for UWF defeating Concordia


AS WE RECOGNIZE COLUMBUS DAY
10-10-15
IS THIS THE KIND OF VIEW THE CONQUISTADORS HAD AS THEY LANDED IN THE NEW WORLD?

I said recognize, not celebrate.  You can pick how you choose to evaluate the situation.  I recognize a lot of things I don't celebrate.  How about the attempted genocide of Native Americans?  I also recognize the spread of diseases such as smallpox by the Europeans although some researchers believe serious diseases were traded both ways.  How about the destruction of once near pristine forests and the harming of functioning ecosystems?  What about the enslavement of huge numbers of people?  I recognize all of these things but I don't celebrate even one.  Besides, why are some celebrating the Spanish (I know Columbus was Italian, but he was followed by the likes of  Cortez) as the first to "discover"  the Americas?  They weren't even the first Europeans.  It is believed my Viking ancestors explored in the "New World" around  500 years before Columbus was even born.  And everyone who got here found rich cultural traditions already thriving here.  Besides, a culture needing military steel and bull whips to spread its influence probably has some flaws.  Ya think?  I think history and life teach that cultural exchange is so much better than a clash of cultures.  Pope Francis, peace be upon him, was just here and celebrated the canonization of the controversial missionary Father Junipero Serra.  Some would argue that among the 3 miracles needed for sainthood, they might consider it miraculous that even one Native Californian  survived under the "civilizing" efforts of Spanish missionaries such as Father Serra.   I do recognize and celebrate the courage and sacrifice of the early explorers and the courageous  dedication of those defending against them.  Columbus Day is a bittersweet celebration.  A new world was built even as another world was destroyed. So much was gained but so much was lost.  Eric Andersen perhaps summed it up best in the concluding song (For What Was Gained) on his Avalanche album: 
"And to this day, God knows, I don't know why
To be so young,  paid such a cost
For what was gained for what was lost."


PENSACOLA IS THE OLDEST EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT IN AMERICA
NOT COUNTING ANYTHING WE MAY FIND THE VIKINGS ACCOMPLISHED
FOUNDED IN 1559 IT WAS LATER DESTROYED BY A HURRICANE AND ABANDONED
(ST. AUGUSTINE IS THE OLDEST CONTINUOUS SETTLEMENT)
 
AT THE END OF PALAFOX STREET IS THE STATUE AND PARK HONORING THE FOUNDER OF THE SETTLEMENT
Tristan de Luna y Arellana is honored as the founder of the settlement in 1559—67 years after The first voyage by Columbus.
At different times parts of this area have been owned by Pensacola Native
Americans, Spain, France, Great Britain, The Confederacy, and the United States.



10-9-15

We have beautiful beaches.  In some ways we're a well kept secret...the forgotten coast.  The Gulf Sand Alligator is rare.  A
while back I came face-to-face with this dangerous creature.  I stood my ground as the two of us engaged in a "stare down."
They'll often disappear into a high tide. I don't fear them.  Pretty impressive huh?  I don't get much more heroic than this.



We're called the Emerald Coast for good reason.


If the muse doesn't speak to you here you need to get out more...at night...on a lonely beach...



10-8-15
AH, THE COMPUTER AGE
BEWARE IF YOU HEAR THESE WORDS:
"This is Windows Company and we've detected a problem with your Windows."



There is a fascinating Internet scam making the rounds.  The Indian Subcontinent accent and the unmistakable background sound of a boiler room tipped me off.  Finding a problem with a Windows operating system on my Mac was an achievement in itself but I didn't let on.

The caller was enthused when I said:  "I'm having trouble with my computer."

Caller:  "That's why we called.  We have detected a serious problem with your Windows."

Me: "There's a guy who makes these in his garage and sells them out of his trunk in the Walmart parking lot."

Before he could get into his spiel that would lead me to download problems that would cost me hundreds of dollars I added: "He won't fix them when they break."

Caller:  "Well. uh, make sure your computer..."

I cut him off:  "I down loaded Windows 10 and the computer starts smoking when I turn it on."

Caller:  "Smoking?  What do you mean?"

Me:  "Let me go over and turn it back on."

I tried to simulate footsteps with my fingers tapping on the desk as he said:  "Sir, wait, sir."

Me:  "i'm back, it's on.   Uh oh, it just caught fire.  I gotta get a bucket of water."

Caller:  "Sir, sir."

I waited silently for several minutes until I heard the operator:  "If you wish to make a call..."


I have read where some people have been taken for hundreds of dollars by this scam. The crooks have unsuccessfully contacted me 3 or 4 times.  They get the victim to eventually access sites from which apps and viruses are acquired.  Sometimes they even manage to freeze your screen until they receive payment.  I'm sure they leave viruses and undesirable apps when you think your computer is returned to apparent normalcy.  It's good sport to ridicule them.  Once I played dumb (my old teachers said I had a gift for that) and pretended to be really confused.  I held my hand partially over the mouthpiece and yelled to my wife that someone was coming to fix the broken window.  I asked the man if he'd fix the broken screen too.  Eventually he managed to explain to me that he would fix my Windows computer.  I hollered to my wife that we were going to get a computer.  He hung up.

These scam artists deserve your ridicule.  Every minute you can tie them up is a minute they're not stealing from someone else.  Be creative but remember Florida law does not allow you to record a conversation if both parties are not aware of the recording.  I must admit I got the idea for treating scammers like this from some comedy bits I heard on the radio and Internet.  What I described here really did happen. For some reason, they will not say they are from Microsoft—preferring to refer to themselves as "Windows Company." If I ever get one of them to the stage where I have to pay them with a Master Card I'm going to tell them my account number is "3."  "I've been with this bank for a long time."  The options are numerous.  Let me know if you come up with a good prank on them. (You can Google something like Windows scam to read more about the problem.)




UWF VOLLEYBALL
10-2,  10-3  &  10-6

UWF defeated undefeated Valdosta State 3-1.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF ALL THREE GAMES



UWF WOMEN'S SOCCER  10-2-15 & 10-4-15

How can you not want to photograph people like the Lady Argos soccer team?
They're not alone on this campus in being excellent athletes and even better people.
Women's Soccer 10-2-15
Women's Soccer 10-4-15


MEN'S SOCCER
10-4-15

PHOTOS: UWF DEFEATS SHORTER



UWF FOOTBALL SECOND SCRIMMAGE
10-3-15


Click Here: UWF FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE PHOTOS


10-2-15




9-27-15
Alex Peyrot And Kenny Brasil Are ITA Regional Doubles Champions!
It may have been the most exciting and well played doubles match I've ever seen.
It is pleasure to photograph Coach Racine's two teams.  They are friendly, cooperative and appreciative. They always have a kind word or smile—until they face an opponent.  That is when they turn as competitive as imaginable. The word fierce comes to mind.  In the last 6 or 7 years I've been emailed from family on other continents about this web site.  I've had players introduce me to visiting family.  And I'm nobody.  Thanks Coach Racine and thanks to the men and women you bring to the community.  It's about more than the full trophy case you've treated us to.  We used to say: "The eyes don't lie."  Well,  neither do the smiles.



CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS OF KENNY AND ALEX



9-29-15
DOWNTOWN PENSACOLA IS A TREAT

"There was music in the cafes at night..."

Downtown Pensacola is a delight...great little (and big) cafes and restaurants...

Theater and arts thrive...
The Little Theater is not so little but it is an intimate site with several stages...


The Art Museum


The Wentworth Museum


It's a safe place...the cannons are from an earlier time...


There is a deep water harbor that serves the world...

The Nor Goliath is over 590 feet long!
A little perspective...if this ship were docked at home plate of the stadium, the other end would be 190 feet beyond the center field wall!

THIS WEB SITE HAS GONE TO THE BIRDS!
BIRD WATCHING EVEN EXTENDS INTO THE CITY!
A really strange and rare bird


Pigeons (Rock Doves) were once hunted for food...today some consider them a health hazard.


A Blue Heron





Sea Gulls...early Mormon settlers in Utah believed gulls were part of a divine sign if not an
actual miracle.  I've seen people in San Francisco feeding them with hand held crackers!
The beach is the place to go if you want to encounter (feed?) these guys by the  hundreds.



OTHER UWF FALL SPORTS

MEN'S SOCCER
9-5-15
9-7-15
9-17 & 9-21

VOLLEYBALL
9-4-15
9-4-15 Second Game
9-5-15
9-18 & 9-19 VS UA, UG & Spring Hill


9-27-15
PHOTOS OF THE UWF WOMEN'S SOCCER GAME WITH MONTEVALLO ARE HERE
CLICK HERE FOR THE 9-22-15 GAME



9-26-15
THE UWF CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
Hosted the annual Gulf Coast Stampede

Click Here: UWF RACE PHOTOS

Running is a sport by itself.  It may well be the oldest of competitive sports.  Does the name Marathon come to mind?  Mercury had winged feet as I recall.  Every other sport that really is a sport is defined by running.   Sports that don't involve running are probably games rather than sports.  Golf, chess and poker come to mind.  I do recall hearing of my great grandfather who combined poker and running in the Old West. "I don't know where that fifth ace came from" would be shouted just before he'd scoop up the gold and win a footrace out of town.  Non-competitive running is good for the head.  When Forrest Gump had to clear the mental cobwebs, he ran...and ran...and ran some more.  Of course he wasn't real but the benefits of running (and walking) are obvious.  On this Saturday something else was obvious.  The UWF Men's and Women's teams are awesome again.  Coach Carmichael and his runners are a class act.  Both teams finished second on the difficult Escambia County Equestrian Park course.







9-24-15
   WHILE ON THE SUBJECT OF FLIGHT...
Add this to your schedule.  Pensacola, like New York City and Mobile, celebrates the New Year by dropping an object timed with a countdown.  New York has the famed ball dropping in Times Square.  Equally (almost) world famous is the dropping of a giant Moon Pie at the stroke of midnight in Mobile, Alabama.  I wish I'd made that up.  Not to be outdone by either metropolis, Pensacola drops a huge pelican on New Years.  This year the drop will occur downtown at the corner of Garden and Palafox.  Music and great fireworks will be included.
ALSO ADD THIS TO YOUR SCHEDULE
Our beloved Blue Angels will return for their Homecoming on November 6-7.



Bring your camera but remember the Naval Air Station does not permit
weapons of any kind and the show is very loud...earplugs are a must!
I made these Canon 60D shots  at 1/5000th of a
second,  f5.6 aperture, 250mm and ISO 100


9-24-15
DRAMA AT THE BIRD FEEDER
Of loyal parents, hapless squirrels and cardinal sin
IF YOU LIVED HERE YOU COULD WATCH BIRDS EVERY DAY
Click HERE To See More Of Drama At The Bird Feeder



A couple of bluebirds proved to be faithful parents at this feeder that became a nest!



A greedy squirrel encountered the male's protective wrath.


The female was quick to follow and strafe the invader.



I have a dozen punch lines here but I won't go sleazy just to get more readers.


Please follow the link to find dozens of my feathered friends posing for my
camera...or grab your camera and go out to enjoy the Panhandle's treasure.


AUTUMNAL EQUINOX 2015














9-23-15
THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE IS A LAND OF NATURAL WONDERS
Even an average suburban lot has a story to tell
Confessions Of A Backyard Naturalist

Don't tread on me!
The Southern Black Racer
I helped write the Wikipedia article on this snake and many of the photos were taken in my yard here in Pensacola.  The original article was challenged by an editor in France who suspected the article was designed to promote a cartoon or movie super hero.


 
Getting her ducks in a row
This photo has been "borrowed" by several sites on the Internet


Teach your children...
Home schooling is popular in this area.  Every parent and grandparent can "home school" even if the kids are in a regular school.  Wouldn't it be an interesting project to record the natural conditions in a typical yard? You could teach photography, natural history, biology, zoology, web site creation, ecology and so much more.  When asked what they teach, the best teacher will respond "I teach children."


9-22-15
UWF Women's Soccer Won Its Home Opener Against Montevallo 2-0







ABOUT PHOTOS 
PHOTOS ARE NEVER SOLD...NEVER.  I photograph for the Athletic Communication Department but this site is private and has nothing to do with them.  This site promotes the entire area and other things that interest me.  The University of West Florida, especially its athletics,  are a vibrant part of the community. I normally take 100s of photos in a game and I'm currently re-evaluating  the idea of posting  dozens of photos after a match or game for every sport.  In the past I would post all I had regardless of technical quality.  I've always hoped I was providing recognition and a vehicle players and families could use to hold  memories. I'm trying to figure out if enough athletes and their folks back home are viewing this site in numbers that make it worth my time.  The department needs photos of high resolution (measured in MBs) for its needs and I need to compress photos (measured in KBs) so that I can have them load fast.  They come first.  It's not brain surgery but it's still time consuming for me to process photos twice.  In any event, Coach Bartlinski is back with another excellent roster.

WE HAVE FOOTBALL!
UWF HAS BROUGHT COLLEGE FOOTBALL TO PENSACOLA
The University of West Florida has a football program and it looks very impressive.  They had their first scrimmage on 9-12-15 and the large crowd was delighted.  We saw speed, some size and a whole bunch of skill being honed by an excellent coaching staff. There is self discipline being encouraged and good football being taught. Mobile, hostile (in a proper sense) and agile were the key descriptions.  Students arrived and acted like the kind of fans that makes college football the great institution it is.  One fraternity brought couches for its members and enthusiasm for the team. The rest of us will get the hang of tailgating  but Pete Shinnick long ago figured out what successful college football is all about.  Bring on 2016, these guys are ready right now.  Below are some photos I made of the event.                           Click here for MORE PHOTOS OF THE FIRST SCRIMMAGE
                    


THE 2015-16 UWF SPORTS SEASONS ARE HERE
The target audience was small to begin with but when cobwebs formed on the hit counter I knew I was wasting time and effort.   It's no reflection on the athletes and coaches. They are among the best in Division II.  My philosophy of including even photos of poor technical quality was based on the grandfather in me—there are no photos of my grandchildren that I don't appreciate.  Even free it didn't sell and I couldn't figure out how to get the price below free.  The cynic says free things tend to get valued at that price but I like to believe what we have here is a failure to communicate on my part.  I also failed to realize that these champion athletes already had bulging scrapbooks from more credible sources than I offered.

I'll continue to photograph for the Department of Athletic Communication.  They do a terrific job and I've often compared them to Division I programs.  The website you're reading is my personal operation and it will revert back to being an organ to promote this great area (of which UWF is an integral part),  wildlife and other things that interest me.  I'm sure I'll find the time to include  sports photos and information about special successes, especially at UWF.   It's going to be another exciting year and I look forward to photographing and watching UWF coaches and players  combining breathtaking athleticism with strong character. I just won't be posting the 100-200 or so photos I've taken at the event.

I mentioned this once before and I hope it amuses you as much as it does me.  There is a certain irony in telling a non existent audience that it doesn't exist.  I feel like Les Nessman,  the befuddled newsman on  the 70s-80s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati.  Their transmitter was blown up and he wanted to lead his news report with the story that they were off the air.  Did I mention I am off the air?

FORT PICKENS
 HISTORY AND WILDLIFE BECKON

For visitors and new residents...Ft. Pickens should be worth frequent visits.  Here a heron greets me. Like many of us, he is willing to stick his neck out to promote our beautiful Emerald Coast. (Sorry)  Whether it be history (Ft Pickens was a Civil War Union fort as well as the prison that held Geronimo) or lonesome beaches, dunes and natural wonders...it is one of our gems here in Pensacola.


Ft Pickens is rarely crowded



WHAT'S COMING UP

Sports at the University of West Florida
You can probably figure out my feelings about UWF
Check goargos.com 
for schedules of your favorite sport
Bring the kids to show them how things are done the right way

9-25-15   Through 9-27-15
The Pensacola Seafood Festival
Entertainment, 5k race, Arts & Crafts, Great Food
and more!

Frequent Music Shows
Vinylmusichall.com
Music shows up close and personal!

Pensacola Museum of Art
Terra Incognita
Photos of our area
From Now until October 17th

Pensacola Greek Festival
Great food and more
October 9-11
PENSACOLAGREEKFESTIVAL.COM

BANDS ON THE BEACH
Great Live Music
It's FREE every Tuesday until October 27th



THERE IS SO  MUCH MORE GOING ON IN PENSACOLA!
THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ENTERTAINMENT ICEBERG





OK, I CAN'T TEAR MYSELF AWAY SO QUICKLY FROM SPORTS
THIS IS CORA BIDLACK AND I BELIEVE HER POSITION IS OUTSIDE HITTER FOR UWF.
YOU WONDER WHY THE UWF VOLLEYBALL TEAM IS 9-2?  JUST LOOK AT THIS VERTICAL LEAP!!
THEY PLAY HARD AND SMART FOR COACH WOLTER (WHO HAS 301 WINS)
By the way,  the other shots in the sequence show she scored a kill on this play.


BUT IT'S NOT JUST GREAT VOLLEYBALL AT UWF
MARTIENN URBANCIC IS CELEBRATING ANOTHER GOAL FOR THE UNDEFEATED MEN'S SOCCER TEAM
WITH A LEVITATION MOVE THAT WOULD MAKE DAVID BLAINE TAKE NOTICE!


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