Thursday, May 31, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend 2007 (Part 3 -- Monday/Tuesday)

Kristina, Kristen and I woke up nice and early on Memorial Day to get ready for the caravan over to Marin County. People were meeting up at Kristen's to carpool over, and by 8am we had 11 people, ready to go play some disc. We loaded up into three cars and vamoosed!

About halfway there, as we were following Greg's car, Kristen was chatting it up with Kristina and Laura--pumped and excited for the tournament--when a stoplight came out of nowhere and Kristen SLAMMED on the breaks a bit too late. We crashed into Greg's car, but luckily we didn't propel him into the car in front, nor did we get slammed by the car behind us.

Kristen was understandably shaken, and the damage to her hood was enough to jack it off its alignment. Greg's car wasn't hurt too bad, but it'll at least need a new paint job. It'll probably end up costing around $2k for all of the damages. She was bummed, but Steve took over driving the rest of the way, and we made it to the fields.

I'd been really excited to play with this group since its inception at the beginning of the year--but I was confined by the distance issue. Being able to play with good, spirited players is when I probably have the most fun. They are competitive, but not over-the-top. We use all of our players, and share the disc--as opposed to some teams that just use a few people on offense, and usually ignore their women.

I was excited to get going, and after a very lengthy warm-up process, including two big laps, plyometrics, stretching, and a few drills--we were nice and warm for our first game against the BBQ team. I forget what their actual team name was, but they had blue shirts that said BBQ on them, so that's all I really needed to know. Thunderbird was our team name, and we were running a pretty unique offense called the German-Offense.

Apparently, the German Offense was created by overweight old guys in Germany, to try and compete with the athletic youngsters. You have 3 people line up across the field, one "German" in the middle, and 3 people in a line deep down the field. The goal is to have enough open space for the German, that whichever of the 3 handlers has the disc has enough space to lead the German away from his defender. The really unique part about this offense is that the throw is made before the German cuts--then the German moves to the disc. In theory, it is impossible to defend, because the German will always know where the disc is going before his or her defender (assuming the German is being fronted).

We had plenty of lofty throws past the German that settled back in for some nice catches by the German--then moved up field to the 3 deeps. We also had plenty of throw aways. I'm not really sure what I think about the offense in general, but I liked the fact that we were trying something new, and weren't getting too discouraged during the bad streaks.

Thunderbird started out hot, and we won our first game fairly handily. They weren't able to stop the offense, and our defense was on fire. Our second game was against the team who beat the first team we played during our first-round bye. They adjusted much better to our offense, and had some changes to their defense in order to cut down on the amount of space the German had to cut. Our defense was probably the difference in the game, and we made a lot of great stops. The game ended up coming down to another Universe-Point, which we won to bump Kristina and my streak up to 8 wins in a row.

Our next game was against "Kill My Landlord", a team I remember playing at Central Valley Cup when I picked up with Mad-Dog 20-20 (which is the Thunderbird "B" team). The game at CVC was a close one, which we lost--so I didn't expect too much trouble playing with Thunderbird. We ended up bagelling them, 13-0. I spent the second half taking pictures. I wish I had taken more pictures during the weekend, but I was either playing or cheering on the team for all but a few points the entire weekend.

Here are some pictures from the Kill My Landlord game:

1) Dave on the mark!

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2) Greg with a nice stretch to break the mark.

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3) Three of our lovely six ladies (Kristen, Kristina, Laura)

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4) Three of our macho eight guys (Greg, Steve, Jean-Michael)

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5) Roxie!

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6) Viet!

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7) Mel with the Sky!

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8) Kristen to Dave 3-picture sequence.

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9) Lefty Chris#2 to Liz

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And then I went back in for the last couple points.

In our 4th game of the day, we met up with the only other undefeated team in our pool. The wind was picking up, which hurt our German-O quite a bit. The lofty passes we had thrown earlier in the day that would float down to the German, were now being whisked away by the wind. The other team was a very good, and very athletic team, and they ended up beating us by three or four points to win a trip to the finals.

In the middle of this game, I laid out for a disc and didn't notice until a minute later the blood streaming down my arm. I must have torn off a scab from Saturday, and there was blood from my elbow to my fingers on my right arm. It didn't really hurt, but I didn't want to get blood on anyone, and wanted to keep as much blood off of Conor's beautiful pink T-shirt as I could. The Tee was already pretty much bloodied up, but I tried!

For our semi-final game, instead of playing, we decided to have our captains butt-wrestle for 3rd place. Clasping his hands behind his knees, Jean-Michael lost on a bit too aggressive butt-flail, but can't blame a guy for being too aggressive when it comes to butt-wrestling! The entire Thunderbird team headed to the Marin Brewing Co., and we had a great dinner. We had pitchers, burgers, and time to socialize. I think it might have been Dave, but somebody at my table started up Thumbmaster, and there were some good times with that. I was second-to-last quite a few times, because I'd be talking with the table behind me, turn around and notice thumbs on the table, then I'd either slam my thumb down, or slyly touch it to the table--depending on how many thumbs were down. Roxie drank the most, I recall. When a few people didn't notice the thumbs, we'd start throwing thumb-talk into the conversation. "How's the weather today?" "Great! Did you know that tomorrow it is supposed to rain?" "Yeah, the weatherman kept pointing at the rain clouds on the doppler with his thumb, it sort of weirded me out."

The best thumb-point was when Viet was showing everyone the cut he had glued up on his thumb. I looked interested, but noticed nobody's thumb was on the table--I just assumed Viet was alerting us to the fact he'd started another round of the game, but nope! So I kept the conversation going, and set my thumb on the table. Viet didn't pick up on it, but half the table slowly put their thumbs down. Dave was in the restroom, but a few minutes later he came back and leaned over the back of the booth and stretched his arm past Viet and put his thumb on the table. Three more people had yet to put their thumbs down, and still didn't notice Dave's blatant thumb--so Dave took it off the table, walked around and got back in his spot, and put his thumb back on the table, lol. Eventually, the couple across the table from Viet realized what was going on, and Viet ended up having to drink--all the while talking about his thumb. Oh the irony!

I drove from Marin back to Kristen's place in Davis--after Kristen drove us from the tourney to the Brewery. She wanted to get back behind the wheel, but also wanted to drink away her sorrows--so I offered to drive to Davis after the restaurant. Kristina and I didn't end up getting back to Nevada City until 11pm. She gets up super-early for work, so she offered to wake me up on her way out, so I could get back to Tahoe in time for my work at 8am. I zonked as soon as we got home.

Six hours later, she stirred me out of my deep sleep at a cock-a-doodle 5am. She left, then I realized she still had my wallet and cell phone in her purse from the night before at the brewery... crap! I didn't have her cell phone number to call, but luckily for me she had it on her fridge. She hadn't gotten too far, and offered to come back up the hill. Phew!

I tried to fit my sleeping bag, tent, and box of 300 otter pops--but the otter pops just didn't want to fit. Argh. I made it out of her place by 5:30am, and zoomed up Donner Pass. But, at the top of Donner Pass, something went wrong with Nikki. She died, going about 75mph on the freeway. Not good! I thought maybe I had pressed her a bit too hard going up the pass, so after pulling off to the side of the road, I gave her 5 minutes.

She wouldn't start with the choke in, so I pulled the choke down and she started, but was idling at 6-7krpm, which isn't normal. I closed the choke about halfway, to a comfortable 3krpm, then started back up on the freeway. After another mile or two, she died again. Double damn. I did the same routine, but waited about 10 minutes this time. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. The oil level looked fine, it wasn't too hot. I had gone 165 miles on this tank, so I should have plenty of gas left from a 4.8 gal tank x 70mpg.

I drove another two miles, then she died for a third time. I called my work and said I might be late, because the bike was crapping out on me in the middle of nowhere. I was a bit surprised I had service, but I was close enough to Truckee that I got a few bars. I was stumped as to the bike problem, so I walked around a bit before it occurred to me that the bike had to be out of gas. I got back to the bike and opened up the gas cover--yup, empty.

I think a combination of two things led to the gas outage:
1) I was revving 9-11krpm on the freeway, which has to guzzle gas much faster than going at 5-7krpm. I didn't account for the lower mpg.
2) I didn't fill up the tank to full, because I read in the owner's manual that filling it too full can lead to explosions (and I had filled it too full the time before, so I filled it less-full this time)

Yep, that'll do it! Luckily for me, there is a residual tank on the Ninja, so I flicked that on, and had another 50 miles or so to find gas, which I did easily. It sure is nerve-racking making all of these stupid mistakes, but it truly does ensure that I won't make them again! I've even read stories on the motorcycle forums about people running out of gas in similar situations--and of course thought I'd never let that happen--hah!

I went straight to work, unshowered and in jeans and a sweatshirt--45 minutes late. Lucky for me, I just had to work until 10am--so I did just that, then rode home and crashed.

All-in-All, a very fun weekend. It was a bit of a pain trying to recall everything that happened three days later for blogging purposes. I might try to bring my laptop to Las Vegas so I can crash at times and recall things fresh from my memory. It feels like the Memorial Day posts were very bland to me, just recalling what happened, and not much else. I'm fine with that for this time, because I just wanted to get it saved somewhere, but in the future I think I'd like to get more of the funny and in-depth stories down in writing, instead of just a timeline of what happened during the trip.

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