Tag Archives: Eric

iPhone Photos Friday, Skeeters Style

Our view (behind the net) of the field

Our view (behind the net) of the field

Last year I wrote several blog posts about watching our community’s then-new minor league baseball team, the Sugar Land Skeeters. I’ll never forget seeing history being made when seven-time Cy Young Award-winner Roger Clemens pitched to his son Koby. All in all, it was a terrific experience.

The Mister and I have been back enjoying Skeeters’ games this sophomore season. It’s been great rooting for a team that wins many more games than they lose (unlike our poor, pitiful Houston Astros). They even made the playoffs as the Atlantic League Freedom Division’s first-half champions!

Know what’s even better than all of that?

Ahhhhh!

Ahhhhh!

We’re sitting in the comfy seats! We’ve moved from last year’s right-field seats to the more-exclusive (and pricier) Diamond Deck. That’s where our motley crew of six (which includes our pal Eric, who spearheaded the season-ticket idea) sits around a table above the field boxes behind home plate. We’re always in the shade, and the chairs are cushy.

Are mosquitos green?

Are mosquitos green?

Even Swatson, who is one of the team’s mascots, comes over to visit with us (or squeak at us, which is the noise he makes). It’s a delightful way to watch a baseball game.

Well, except for one minor detail.

It’s obvious who sponsors our area.

Pretty creepy

Distinctive Life Funeral Homes sponsors the Diamond Deck. Maybe it’s just me, but that’s not the fun, family-oriented, youthful kind of sign I want near me. Especially since I turn 60 in a couple weeks and the Mister 63 in late September.

Should we be reminded of our mortality at a baseball game? Absolutely not!

Peekaboo Putting

Marcus hopes for a par.

Marcus hopes for a par.

Timing is everything in life . . . and photography.

Take disc golf, for example. Mistime when you snap your shutter, and you can distract the player or entirely miss having the disc in the photo, making for either a miffed person or an uninteresting picture.

I’ve been taking disc golf pix for almost six years, so usually my timing is pretty good. I usually end up with a calm player and a decent action photo.

Usually.

Yes, that IS Patrick sending his disc towards the basket.

Yes, that IS Patrick sending his disc towards the basket.

For some reason—heat, humidity, slow reflexes, weak talent—when I was shooting our weekly Southwest Handicap Mini last Tuesday, I caught several players with their throwing hands obscuring their faces. I could understand this happening if any of these guys were shy or avoided photo ops.

Sidebar: When I posted the above photo on Facebook, the mini’s fearless leader, Eric, commented that Patrick was showing off the rarely used Riverdance putt. Makes me laugh every time I look at the picture.

Casey’s disc heads for the chains.

Casey’s disc heads for the chains.

But even Casey finally has accepted my presence on the course, even complaining that because I wasn’t at a certain basket, he missed a putt (could the Nikon D700 have magical powers?). So I have to chalk it up to the dreaded “oops, I blew it” excuse. After all, everyone would rather see faces than hands.

Adam putts it in.

Adam told me to shoot from this angle; glad he didn’t miss!

Even when those handsome faces are somewhat obscured by chains!

Am Worlds Ups and Downs and Ups

The trip starts: Marcus, Eric, the Mister, the kid, and Steve

The trip starts at our house: Marcus, Eric, the Mister, the kid, and Steve

Oh, how I had hoped that I would have a wonderful report to post about my younger son’s fifth Amateur Disc Golf World Championships experience!

Good thing the Mister drives a minivan!

Good thing the Mister drives a minivan!

When the Mister, who was my ace iPhone 5 photographer for the venture (and did his best job ever, I’m pleased to report), the kid, and our three buddies (Eric, Marcus, and Steve) left our driveway on Friday, July 5, I was cautiously optimistic that the kid would enjoy a great adventure.

The kid threw 489 feet and tied for third in the long-distance event.

The kid threw 489 feet and tied for third in his division in the long-distance field event. (Photo by the PDGA)

Cautious, because his right shoulder had been bothering him for several weeks, but only when he played disc golf. So we tried a chiropractic solution, which left him feeling better and ready to go.

The guys first stopped in Dallas to play a couple courses and stayed overnight in Oklahoma. The next day they arrived in Emporia, Kansas, site of the tournament. As they were practicing on courses and competing in the field events, my son continued to complain about his shoulder. I was able to find a masseuse, who gently worked on him on July 8, the day before play began.

A highlight of the trip was getting to see our dear, former neighbors.

A highlight of the trip was getting to see our dear, former neighbors.

The next day it was time to test his shoulder. He played a splendid opening round, winning his card. But he texted me that his arm felt tight. Sure enough, during his second round that afternoon, he was in pain. So much so, that he pulled out after eight holes, fearing that he might damage his shoulder.

And that, my friends, was the abrupt end of his Am Worlds journey. I felt so much sadness for my precious baby boy, who has been through so much the last couple years. And, of course, it made it that much worse that I wasn’t with him to comfort him.

The kid carries Eric's big bag.

My bushy-bearded boy carries Eric’s big bag.

Unfortunately, my guys couldn’t just head for home, because they were responsible for the players who drove with them. But misfortune turned into a lucky break for Eric. The kid decided to caddy for his co-adult bestie (along with Glen), whose game he knows so well. He was literally able to take a load off Eric’s back, as well as try to keep him loose and give him sage advice.

Naturally, they made a great pair (after all, they won the 2011 Amateur Worlds Doubles Championship). Eric turned in a stellar performance in the masters division (ages 40-49), having the kid on his bag for a couple rounds. He finished in fourth place after the six rounds of regulation play, easily qualifying for the semifinals.

The kid and Eric are ready for the finals.

The kid and Eric are ready for the finals.

Then Eric moved up a place after the semis last Saturday and headed to his first Am Worlds finals a few hours later. He managed to put so much pressure on the leader, Keith Walker, during the nine holes that Walker had to can an amazing, long, birdie putt to beat Eric. The fearless leader of our Southwest Handicap Mini series did, though, win the card while placing second. Not too shabby!

All in all, it was a good week for the other guys, as Marcus tied for eighth place in the grandmasters division, while Steve tied for tenth in masters. As for my son, I’m sure there was some kind of lesson to be learned from his disappointing experience, if only that he can turn those lemons into helpful lemonade.

My two guys! (Photo by JJ)

My two guys! (Photo by JJ)

Plus he got to spend a week with his buds and his Pops in beautiful Emporia. Hey, it was better than working in the hot warehouse!

Sidebar: Except where noted and the first two photos by yours truly, the other pics are by the Mister.

Let Me Tell You ’Bout . . .

Neal (left) and Adam watch in awe as Eric scores in two.

My younger son’s putt is good for a birdie.

. . . the birdies . . .

(Eric [top] and my younger son [bottom] clang the chains with their second shots during last Tuesday’s Southwest Handicap Mini at the First Colony Aquatic Center; all 18 holes were par 3s.)

Definitely a hazard near one of the baskets

Definitely a hazard near one of the baskets

. . . and the bees!

Graduation Support

The motley crew: The Mister, Uncle Mike, #1 son, Aunt Carol, me, and Grandma surround the kid after his graduation last Saturday.

The motley crew: The Mister, Uncle Mike, big bro, Aunt Carol, me, and Grandma surround the kid after his graduation last Saturday.

It was a given that his loving family would be cheering on my younger son at his high school graduation last Saturday at the Toyota Center. The Mister, our older son, and I were joined by my mom (who flew in from Chicago), as well as the Mister’s siblings, Carol and Mike.

Best disc golf buddies: Glen, the kid, and Eric

Best disc golf buddies: Glen, the kid, and Eric

But adding to that support crew were two men who have been special in my son’s life for several years, Eric and Glen. They are his best friends, adult division.

Eric advised my son at the 2010 amateur disc golf worlds in Ohio.

Eric advised my son at the 2010 amateur disc golf worlds in Ohio.

We met Eric in December of 2007 at my son’s first disc golf tournament (the kid was 12 years old). They played on the same card in the first round. Since then they’ve made great doubles partners, winning the 2011 Amateur World Doubles championship, as well as good traveling companions and friendly adversaries.

Glen and the kid walk together during a tournament.

Glen and the kid walk together during a tournament in 2010.

Glen came into my son’s life in 2009, and it seemed like they instantly bonded. Their mutual love of sports and ability to not take themselves seriously enables them to always have fun together.

I’ve trusted Eric and Glen to take care of my beloved baby boy on numerous occasions, including when Glen and his wife Kelly toted the kid to and from Michigan, playing disc golf along the way. It’s wonderful how both men can be terrific mentors and friends for my young man in their own separate ways.

The Mister and I really appreciated that both of them took time out from their busy lives to attend our son’s graduation. We know it meant a lot to the kid that they were by his side during this important milestone.

It does, though, make me wonder one thing: Who will miss my son most when he’s at Sam Houston State this fall? Me or Eric and Glen? I know the kid definitely will miss them, too.

And maybe even me!

Disc Golf and Little G

My younger son keeps his eyes on the prize.

My younger son keeps his eyes on the putting prize.

Our annual Southwest Handicap Mini disc golf series began once again Tuesday evening under wonderful mild conditions.

Our fearless leader, Eric

Our fearless leader, Eric

Almost 30 players descended on Community Park in Missouri City to throw plastic at metal baskets.

Marcus’ putt sails towards the basket.

Marcus’ putt begins its journey.

It was nice seeing familiar faces after the several-month layoff. All seemed right with the world once again.

The kid is joined by Glen IV and Glen V.

The kid is joined by Glen IV and Glen V.

But the highlight for me? A little Glen appearance!

Glive now is two years old!

Glive now is two years old!

Can I ever get enough of this cute toddler? No way! His little smile captures my heart.

The golden sunset

Golden gloaming

Just like a gorgeous, glowing sunset!

Ruff But Ready

My younger son sends the disc flying towards Eric.

My younger son sends the disc flying towards Eric.

With the temperatures being so mild in the Houston area right now (the high will be 80 degrees today!), it’s nice spending time outdoors. For our family, when that scenario presents itself, usually there’s a disc thrown into the mix.

Come to papa!

Come to papa!

Which is why last Saturday the Mister, the kid, and I were at our local disc golf course soaking up some Vitamin D rays. Our friend Eric was working on the setup for a tournament taking place this Saturday, plus he wanted to check if his right elbow would hold up to the rigors of throwing discs long distances.

Looking it in.

Looking it in.

Eric had a marble-sized chunk of junk removed from that joint last month. After physical therapy and the okay from his doctor, he was ready to see how far and how accurately he could toss a disc.

So far so good.

So far so good.

Naturally, my younger son was his partner in crime. They’ve played a lot of rounds together, as well as teaming up to win a world doubles championship a few years ago (if you consider that the “world” is Texas . . . which a lot of Texans do!). First they warmed up by flinging a disc back and forth.

Nice scar!

Nice scar!

Then it was time to hit the course and play some holes.

Will the putt go in the basket?

Will the putt go in the basket?

The kid also needed to see how prepared he was for the upcoming competition. He’s practiced sporadically for several months. So this was a great time to knock off the rust and clang some chains.

As for Eric, did this little exercise show he’s ready for the tournament?

Everyone’s a critic.

Everyone’s a critic!

You’re doggone right he is! Good luck to both guys!!