Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disc Golfing and a Disc Flight Guide

Over the past year I've really become hooked on disc golf. The immediate Quad City area where I live is blessed with 11 disc golf courses. It's also blessed by Iron Lion Disc Golf Supply the only locally owned shop.
Owners, Chase Roberts and Jessica Argyle are personable, helpful, experienced players, and their shop provides a variety of discs, really fine locally designed and produced clothing by Hippie Golf Wear as well as other disc golf items for sale.

Myself and Felix Castro, a co-worker and friend, started a disc golf league at work this past spring. It's grown from just me and Felix meeting up to play once a week after work to at times 5 or 6 co-workers playing on a Thursday evening. Life's busy and many of the 30 or so folks on our mailing list are busy with their lives. In September I thought of putting together an Ace Race to raise some funds for charity as part of our employee annual fund drive. Lot of logistics such as no money to finance the project and no liability insurance for the event put the brakes on that idea. But, Chase suggested putting on an Discraft Ace Race. In so many ways it turned out to be the best solution, not to mention a fun event for the players! Discraft is one of the major golf disc manufacturers as well as freestyle and ultimate discs. The Discraft Ace Race has grown to over 300 events taking place around the world with more than 16,000 participants. That's been a bit of an undertaking for me this year but it wouldn't have happened had it not been for support from Iron Lion Disc Golf Supply, The Friends of Credit Island, Tom Lafrenz, John Kinser, Felix Castro, and Heather Nobiling.

Probably the greatest benefit of participating in a Discraft Ace Race is the Player Pack provides a pre-registered player with two proto-type discs that are the only discs to be used for the Ace Race. These discs are different from year-to-year and most, but not all, make it into retail outlets. This often does not occur until way after the Ace Race the discs were featured in has taken place.

There are many manufacturers of disc golf discs these days. The disc golf disc traces its origin to the Wham-O Frisbee and has been highly engineered to create at least three classes of discs: distance driver, mid-range driver, and putt and approach disc. Each disc has a different name, stability and flight characteristics as well as color, weight, and plastics.

When visiting a Disc Golf Supply shop, or visiting online shops, a disc golfer can find flight charts showing the various characteristics of a manufacturer's golf discs. This can be a bit overwhelming especially to the new player. That's a good reason to shop at a locally owned and operated disc golf supply shop that is staffed by knowledgable players and/or owners as they can direct an interested customer/newbie towards a disc that will be right for them.

Recently, I've found a blog, Rattlin' Chains, that had a post about inbounds Disc Golf. inbound Disc Golf was started by a new disc golfer, Brian Rogers, out in southern Pennsylvania who is a IT person or at least trained, and, I think, employed in that field. (You can read that blogpost here) As such he does a lot of analysis. As a new disc golfer he started questioning the differences in the nature of disc golf disc flight characteristics. As the various manufacturers don't seem to rate their discs with a universal standard, this individual developed a flight guide in as objective a manner as he could by averaging the various flight rating systems.
It has resulted in a golf disc flight guide that is available online or in hardcopy. The concept and development seems solid enough to warrant this a worthwhile addition to all levels of disc golfers resources.

The inflight guide is not inbounds Disc Golf only offering as a visit to their website will bear out. Their organization is multifaceted in that they sponsor several events and promote disc golf in various ways throughout their geographic locale and via the internet with their web presence.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Innovative Metronome Usage by Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten, bassist for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, presents innovative ways to utilize the metronome in the video below. Well worth the ten minute viewing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Killarney Boys of Pleasure

An Irish fiddle tune I'm currently enamored with enough to have learned it and will attempt it with others at a monthly session Thursday night (Oct. 11, 2012). The version below by Lunasa, from their 2001 album, The Merry Sisters of Fate, is not performed in the traditional AABB dance format which makes it more interesting to me and the listener. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Knicoma Frederick

Josh shared a link about Knicoma Frederick...an intriguing artist, perspective and outlook.

Worth a looksee at the video below.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tom Rush

First heard of Tom Rush back in 1970 at Loyola University in a short course on the Blues put on by the dorm manager of the dorm where I resided. One of the tunes he put us onto was Tom's Bukka White amalgam, The Panama Limited. Tom played using a telephone jack cover as a slide when he recorded that tune. Back then those covers were made out of metal. The video below is Tom performing The Panama Limited back in 2007 or uploaded then. He's using a glass slide these days but he still does the tune well.

Didn't realize it at the time but Tom Rush was one of the first singer-songwriters. He influenced a lot of folks that would follow in that vein. James Taylor is one. Tom's gotten back into the performing scene as of the past decade or so. The video below is a great tune, The Remember Song, written by Steven Walters. Enjoy!

More info can be found at Tom's website at http://tomrush.com.