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activities + sports

Any kinds of sports, leisure activities, championships or famous people.

Written By: Gary on May 11, 2011 3 Comments

So I’ve been needing a new bicycle rack for the last few years; ever since the bicycle accident where a tire rolled off a car and while I managed to swerve, out of the way, it still managed to ruin my bicycle and my bike rack (both of which I really really liked). I’d gotten a new bike and it just didn’t fit right (the bar on my new bike is tilted) so it didn’t fit on the new rack (or the old rack) all that well. So I had to use the old rack and put the bike on upside down (which actually worked pretty well) but I had to use pliers to tighten the old rack and it just wasn’t as convenient as before.

So I’ve been googling, eBaying and sticking my head into bike shops all over, looking for a new rack. Something that plugs into my trailer hitch (which I only have to support a bike rack) and the bike sits into it (these are generally referred to as cradles, carriers or platforms) and isn’t too huge (I have a tiny garage). Actually, that’s pretty much exactly what I got…

bike-rack-with-bike-IMG_3548.JPG

I love it!!! Not only does it hold the the bike up higher than the old rack, I can actually close the garage door with one bike on the rack (I didn’t try it with two); so if I want to set it up for morning or just leave it on for the next day, I’m good to go! Until late last summer, I didn’t see any similar to this that weren’t either huge or expensive then I spotted this Hollywood rack on Hines Drive (which looks identical except the knobs and the cool up/down sliders that I don’t have). I just wish it was supposed to be sunny tomorrow…

Minor complaint: It’s even smart enough to fold down for a SUV or some vehicle with a rear door (which I don’t have), so I think it’s going to rattle a bit more (update) rattling is not a issue for me at all. And the knobs are a little hard to twist, but once I get them most of them adjusted, I won’t need to adjust them any more (just the up/down one). It’s hard to see the up/down support, but you can see them on the links below. And the site lists it as a “powder coat rust resistant finish” but I’m not sure what the “powder” part is, it’s smooth steel, I kind of expected a slightly rougher surface (but I don’t really know these things).

bike-rack-folded-IMG_3550.jpg

Here’s a picture of it folded up on the back of the car, so it does get quite a bit smaller. And while it’s pretty compact, it doesn’t really stand up on it’s own once you take it off. It fits my 1.25″ trailer hitch and comes with the adapter for a 2″ hitch. It took me (just like the box said) about fifteen minutes tops to put it together, it was only two bolts and all the hand tighteners.

I ended up buying it from Proline Products they have several other (more expensive) similar 2 bike racks and some 4 bike racks. I ordered it Monday from Greg (at extension 202) and it got here Wednesday the same wek; I only called on the phone since the site listed a scratched one (for less) and I couldn’t get it into my cart, but I think it’s in excellent shape.

Written By: Gary on December 29, 2010 No Comment

This is me jumping of a BIG rock at the lower falls in Montezuma Costa Rica. It’s not very high, but you really need to get out past the rocks below (and the water is WAY deep).

Watch in full screen HD!

My videographer (German tourist) shot a bit of the falls after, and them me swimming back, so after the action it kinda slows down…

Written By: Gary on January 29, 2010 One Comment

I like the Friday Question #98 for this week: What hobbies would you pursue if money was of no concern?

The first thing I thought was “Does travel count as a hobby“? But since KIm listed travel as hobby I figured it was okay to use…

Clouds Treo 111008 001So I’ll talk about travel as my topic. For me, the most expensive part about traveling is the getting to the destination. I can be pretty happy about staying somewhere cheap and out of the way but it’s getting there. Even when I get to Costa Rica and I can usually pay about $300-ish for my flight it’s still the getting around in country that costs money.

So even when I get to my isolated places and find a cheap place to stay. It’ll cost me more to rent a scooter or 4-wheeler for the day compared to the hotel; heck a bicycle rental is half the price of a hotel. Some other things to do on a trip like a horseback ride of out to an island where you can snorkel is more than the hotel too. As vacations go, these are cheap things to do ($35-$40 a day) but when that’s exceeding your other big costs you start to notice.

I guess if the money was of no concern I might stay at nicer places and in bigger cities but I’m pretty happy in some little town by the water or up in the mountains somewhere.

I guess photography and videography would be another hobby, since I love to do that. The problem is that just ends up with more stuff for me to carry around with me when I travel. And I guess for $5,000-$8,000 I could buy more than everything I need (multiple cameras and lens of different types and two different sized video cameras) and be done with it for more than a few years. Travel is a lot more expensive over the long haul.

I guess I just need a job that lets me travel, write about it and shoot lots of photos and video!!!

Written By: Gary on August 6, 2009 No Comment

One of the activities at the Detroit Science Center tonight was a rock wall. I’ve never done one of these and I’ve always wanted to try it! They wouldn’t let me wear my sandals, but fortunately I had some other shoes in the car. This was a blast and I’d definitely do it again some time!

rockwall-wave.png
I figured I better wave right away just in case I fell.

rockwall-getagrip.png
This was the point where I yelled down to check that
this was just going to let me gently fall (if I fell).
I was getting a little high and the holds were a little farther apart.

rockwall-neartop.png
At the top there’s a button to press to ring the bell.
Can you see it up where the wire comes out?

rockwall-onthewaydown.png
This is me on the way down.
It was actually a pretty fast/smooth process.


And this is me all the way down, the woman running it says that happens to the “big kids” a lot.

I almost did it again so I could get it all on video to see how it looked. Maybe next time…..

Written By: Gary on October 14, 2008 One Comment

Pict2734.ThumbIt was a beautiful day yesterday! The forecast was supposed to be great so I went to Kensington Metro Park (still only $4 to get in). I think it got up to about 79° F so it was a great day for wandering around the paths. Never did find the one observation platform, must have walked the long way around it.

Can anyone identify the bird in the photo? (Comment below)

Here’s a bunch of photos I took at the park (8 photos).

A lot of my photos from my nice Canon Digital Rebel XT got a little washed out but I can’t figure out why. The best ones came out from my old pocket camera (Minolta Dimage XT).

Park was quiet and lots of stuff was closed (boat rental, etc.) but it is kind of late in the season. But it sure didn’t feel like it :)

I’ve just starting playing with 12Seconds.tv so here’s a test from my phone at the park. It’s abruptly cut off but that’s because videos can only be (you guessed it) 12 seconds long.

Kensington Metro Park on 12seconds.tv

Written By: Gary on August 11, 2008 One Comment

This is kinda cool, I like the map with the Olympic Medal winners marked on it.

You can click the little tab Picture 10 at the top to just show the map.

Written By: Gary on August 2, 2008 One Comment

800Px-Tiger Stadium DemolitionI had posted that comment on Tiger Stadium last night from my mobile right after seeing the building. They had guards posted, Im assuming this is so that people didn’t come by and pick up souvenirs. Seems kind of funny they need to dispose of the building, they’ll pay for disposal but people would probably take a chunk of it away for free.

I do understand there would be insurance issues but it just seems like they could make it an money-making adventure. You’d have to purchase a $25 commemorative hardhat (shaped like a Tiger’s baseball cap) and it’s $50 a pound of whatever you carry out. The building would be gone in days. They could have even stated it before there was rubble (or even keep you at the other end of the lot).

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Later: Someone at lunch just mentioned that they stopped demolition, which explains why the above photo doesn’t look much different than it did last night.

Written By: Gary on August 1, 2008 2 Comments

I’m not a big sports fan but I just drove by Tiger Stadium and they’ve started tearing it down already. It made me kinda sad…

Written By: Gary on May 18, 2008 No Comment

I saw this at Dean’s World. It was a interesting not-normal sports story and I decided to put it up a I was watching it.

But as I teared up a few times during the video, I decided I should share it with you all too…

There’s a story here to go with it..

Written By: Gary on October 13, 2007 No Comment



Touchdown! MSU Homecoming

Originally uploaded by garylapointe

So I drove up to MSU to meet some friends for homecoming and here we are at the game. It’s 7-0 right now…

 


Update: Final Score MSU wins 52-27!!

Written By: Gary on September 9, 2007 3 Comments

So I got my new bicycle! I got the Cypruss DX from Giant (2007 model) it’s got 24-speeds (about a dozen more than I need) and is silver and gray-ish (I think they call it silver/silver); it’s the one I mentioned the other day. I think these are the 2007 Cypress DX specs. I rode it around a few times yesterday and had him make adjustments a few times. Now I’m off to Hines Drive park to take it for a ride…

2007-09-09 14-58-10.Img 6498.CropNow is a great time to get a bike, all the 2008 models are coming out and every thing is on sale. Differences are generally pretty minimal, the 2008 of my bike had disc brakes (way cool) but took away the adjustment of the front shocks and raised the price $70 (from $370 in 2007 to $440 in 2008). My bike dropped another $45 since last week (and it was marked down then) bringing it to $295!!! And that includes free adjustments, inspections, flat repair and 10% for the next three years (this was at D & D Bicycles and fitness, 4 stores in the Detroit MI area).

I really like it so far. I’m off to the park right now to ride it a bit more. The shocks on the front of the bike and in the seat really make the bumps a lot more enjoyable.I also got a new lock (the old one wouldn’t fit in the new shaped frame), a water bottle holder and a bell. They way they tilt the support bar these days it seems like my front tire is pretty close to the road (in the bike rack), I’ll have to set my other bike on the rack so I can see what the difference is, if it’s too low I might have to take to tire off (it’s easy but still a bother) and if I can’t get this one fixed, I’ll get a taller rack(?), I guess. On a side note I think it has a light weight 6061 ALUXX (aluminum) alloy comfort frame.

Written By: Gary on August 29, 2007 3 Comments

So I started the story the other day about how my bicycle was ripped from the back of my car. This was the first really nice bicycle that I ever purchased for myself, I’m thinking it was just under $400. Generally, I just purchased $99 bikes but I was having a hard time finding tires that weren’t mountain bike (extra wide) size and I didn’t want to get the really thin tires. Plus I was at a point when I knew I’d always be able to keep the bike indoors to take care of it (and I wanted something a little nicer). The weird thing is I just commented several times over the last few months about how much I loved the bike and my bike rack (just slides into the trailer hitch and it’s so easy and sturdy).

But back to the middle of the story -I was stressing about this a lot this weekend (mostly the beginning and the end, I was too busy having fun in the middle), I’d probably have stressed less if I had totaled the car but it’s the figuring out of the replacing and trying to get reimbursed for the bike and rack. But I was extra annoyed in that the reason I drove my car was specifically to have my bike, it would have been much easier and cheaper to take the train. Little did I know I’d have nothing to worry about, they called me back first thing Monday morning and I stopped by the shop and they wrote me a check to cover the bike (and the $90 in repairs I’d already done) based on the estimate. I said I’d get the rack since I might actually might be able to get replacement parts for it. They probably would have covered more if I had asked but I thought it was fair since I was getting a new bike out of the deal (even though I wasn’t even considering it beforehand).

My day got much better better after that and I wished I had never worried about it, it was just a bike. No one was hurt and life was good. So on the way home I stopped at a few bike shops and fell in love with a shiny red Trek 7300, it rode so smooth I couldn’t believe it, I thought someone was pushing me along. It was a little more expensive than I was going to spend but if I can find it around home, it’s mine sometime this week. The problem might be is that I think it was last years model and I might not find the same color.

FYI, the end of the story will be when I get a bike :)

Written By: Gary on August 29, 2007 2 Comments

So I’m not a big fan of team sports, I go here and there if it’s a group (or I get free tickets) but it’s just never been my thing. Maybe it’s just because there is too much waiting, in line to get in, in the parking lot, between time outs, etc. But I’ve always liked numbers and I really liked the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game so maybe that’s why I got a message sent to me.

The message looked like it was directed to me, it might have just been well formed spam (but there appear to be no ads). But I liked the graphics and stats on “your team’s chance of making the playoffs” so I’m linking to the Detroit Tigers page at Sport Club Stats. They’ve got all sorts of teams and leagues and sports so check it out. Be sure to click out the enlarged graphs/charts too.

Written By: Gary on October 28, 2006 No Comment

Unfortunately the Detroit Tigers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals tonight. Well, unfortunate for Detroit, the St. Louis Fans are probably pretty happy. It’s gotta feel great to win when you’re in your hometown. So that’s a bonus for the fans down there.

I was a little more in the spirit for this (even though I’m not a sports person), changed the blog look and even watched a few innings last night…

Written By: Gary on October 25, 2006 No Comment

rain delayAs we all know, I’m not a huge fan of sports, normally I’d be hard pressed to know who’s in the World Series. But being from the Detroit area I was curious as to how they were doing tonight. Unfortunately they’ve got rain, much too much rain to play so the game has been delayed. I’m not sure if they might still play tonight or not. Very sad for the sports geeks who had their whole night planned out…

I know how I feel when Apple has a press conference and Steve Jobs doesn’t announce the product I was expecting…


You can tell I’m not into sports that much when I’m wondering how “they are doing” and not how “we are doing”.

Written By: Gary on October 21, 2006 2 Comments

The Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series!!!! It’s totally weird that no one knew who it was that we were going to play until less than two days ago. Game one is tonight.


All I really remember about the last time we made it (in ’84) was watching the news as the fans went nuts (they flipped/burned some cars and other stuff) and the newscasters were talking all very excitedly about the celebration. And I’m thinking that “this isn’t good” and then the national news came on and used the same footage with “Riots” in all the captions and descriptions that they used…

Written By: Gary on September 26, 2006 One Comment

So it was a great day outside today. I’m up visiting relatives in Lake Leelanau and the weather has been mediocre but today it was just great! I went bike riding with my uncle on some path and then I ran around and went to a winery (Leelanau Cellars) I like.

Then I drove around a bit and got some lunch and ice cream. And then I just drove around and enjoyed the scenery with the top down. It’s been semi-rainy and mostly cloudy since Friday. So it’s been a pleasure today!


Actually, I don’t know any thing about wine (or wineries) and never go but when I find a wine I like I write it down. On my last visit here we stopped by a Leelanau Cellars winery and when we got there I looked at my list it turns out oen of the few names I had written down was actually from that winery. So I liked the bottles from last year so I went back. Unfortunately the one I liked I forgot to write the name down :(

Written By: Gary on September 2, 2006 No Comment

Karen was talking about her lucky underwear on her blog and it made me think about mine. Unlike her, I will describe mine. And unlike her, I know where mine are!

If you know me at all, you know I’m not much of a sports fan. BUT I have this pair of green boxers with footballs all over them which somewhere along the lines I started wearing on Saturdays since that’s when everyone seems most excited about football. I probably even wear them on Saturdays in the summer, but it’s not like I keep track or anything. How did I get these if I don’t care so much about sports? They were in the middle of a 3-pack!

Yes, of course I’m wearing them right now, it’s Saturday!

Written By: Gary on March 1, 2006 One Comment

Google video is out and it’s nice (but a little strange). It’s fast, but some have charges and some don’t, some are downloadable and some aren’t. It’s just not very consistant.

Some are interesting (and complete) like this 5 minute intro to the Torino Olympics Figure Skating but then they have these goofy short ones that are 15 seconds like this Emily Hughes one that isn’t even a complete anything (at least in this one they didn’t cut off after 1/2 a sentence.


Okay, it’s a few minutes later and I’m back with a few interesting ones:

  • What is a Blog?
  • What is RSS?
  • Bells (MSU Beaumont Tower).
  • Dream Sequence (a dearborn high project)
  • Water Rocket
  • “Kate” (from Lost) in a singles line ad…
  • Unveiling of the new Sparty Statue

    Okay, I started off not thinking Google videos was a little strange. Now I know it’s just a way to kill a lot of time…

    I’m sure it’ll get better (and worse). The original list of web sites was just a list with a dozen or so added every few days. There just wasn’t much to find at the time. This’ll get better (especially once they add tags).

  • Written By: Gary on February 12, 2006 No Comment

    I was a little disappointed with the opening ceremonies with the olympics. A few neat things but I wasn’t enthralled, even with TiVo to get me through the slow spots. The fireworks and sparkler type things were awesome!


    And who’s this guy who’s doing some of the commentary for the skating? Dick Button? They act like he’s some hotshot but so far (IMHO) he’s just this dorky guy who’s annoying (seems kinda mean).

    Later: Okay, so I looked him up, he’s won a few gold in skating (over half a century ago), but he’s still kinda gruff for figure skating.

    Written By: Gary on December 18, 2005 No Comment

    Taralipinski-WikiSo whatever happened to Tara Lipinski? It’s not a name you hear much any more. I haven’t even seen her on television much (acting or skating). It’s skating season so she’s popped into my head a few times lately when I see it on TV. Plus I saw some Champions on Ice posters at Breslin last week (even though she was with Stars on Ice) which also made me think about her.

    I’ve seen her a few times, something (fundraiser?) just before she got big, a few times with Stars on Ice and some Tara & Friend’s show in East Lansing. She was very impressive each time.


    It just seemed as if she completely disappeared. It seems like Sarah Hughes dropped off the map too…

    Later: With a little Googling I see she’s going to be inducted into the hall of fame next month. I think that’s at a show in St. Louis which I think it’s where she hurt herself which lead to her not skating so much (anymore?); I have no idea if it’s the same arena. She’s got a story in International Figure Skating this month, I’m assuming that’s related to the induction(?).

    Written By: Gary on December 17, 2005 No Comment

    So we played WhirlyBall again yesterday!!! I love playing this game. If you haven’t seen me mention WhirlyBall before, it’s kinda like basket ball but with a whiffle ball/scoop and you’re driving a bumper car!

    We were at WhirlyBall West in West Bloomfield, MI. I didn’t have any problems the few other times I played but I knew I was going to have a few bruises this time and sure enough the two spots where I knew I got bumped while bouncing around the car are looking pretty colorful.


    There’s a video on the web site that gives a sample of what a game is like. It makes the game seem pretty slow where it seems quite busy the whole time you play…

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    Written By: Gary on September 18, 2005 2 Comments

    WhirlyBall birthdayI never really gave any followup on the birthday, even after all the great comments, here’s a little more info: So last weekend a group of us went to play WhirlyBall, picture a playing catch with a whiffle ball and scoops, but you’re shooting for a target at the end of the court and you’re driving bumper cars (no, I’m not kidding). It’s hysterical, we had a blast, friends, relatives and people I work (and worked) with. They have a bar there and we had pizzia, munchies and (of course) cake.

    Lot’ of funny cards, gift cards and books. I’m always pretty had to buy for so there were actually lots of gift cards. I’m not good at the whole getting the gifts thing, I was just be pretty happy to have lots of people there. Afterwards some of us, (I’ll define “us” as the ‘kids’ without any aunts/uncles or parents there), went out for some drinks and more conversation. I went out with friend’s and family at other various times: this means meals, drinks and presents :)


    I’ll be mentioning books and music and other things as I read and listen to them. I really need to get a better digital camera for low light (FYI, that’s my Mom in front), maybe I’ll consolidate some of my gift cards and take the plunge. We should have done a posed picture out on the court.

    My cousin Scott was there, who I just found out blogs and he’s already mentioned playing in his blog. Katie was the rebound queen and one of the high scorers and also has a blog. We only had one little kid there, Thomas, but they wouldn’t even let us take him for a spin while oone else was on the court…

    Speaking of blogs, Dave (from eMusings at Chez Goodman) mentioned it was my birthday so I had a few new visitors from his place…

    Thanks again for all the nice wishes! :)

    Written By: Gary on August 7, 2005 2 Comments

    SceneitboardSo I know I’ve mentioned Scene It? several times before. I’m going to plug it again? Why you ask? Because I’ve seen a few new editions and some old ones released differently. Personally, I own the Junior, TV and regular refill pack (the board is the same for them all). I’ve bought at least a half-dozen of these as gifts (maybe a dozen).


    Why is this game so great? It’s fast and easy to play; plus you can even fold the board in half to play an even shorter version. It’s got fun questions and about every third one is multi-media via the DVD player. Go directly to the Scene It? web site for more info and samples. Plus they give away a Scene It game a week.

    The different editions are:

  • The Harry Potter Edition is now out (this is new). Barnes and Nobel has a Deluxe HP edition but I’m not sure what the bonus is.
  • A Music Edition is now out too (at least I haven’t seen it before and I can only find it at Target so I guess that’s new).
  • The OO7 James Bond and Turner Classic Movies Edition have been available but are now out in new refill packs (007 or TCM).
  • As always they’ve got the regular and deluxe editions (and a Refill Pack to make the regular be deluxe).
  • Plus the TV Edition, Disney Edition and SCENE IT? Jr. are out.
  • While I was making these links I noticed the Sports Edition
  • I just found a HBO Expansion Pack too!

    FYI – I saw all these at Target today (just the refills for 007 and TCM but not the Sports or HBO).

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    Written By: Gary on March 27, 2005 One Comment

    WhirlyballreachingJaialaiThe game is called WhirlyBall. Picture it as Jai Alai (with the the scoops with a whiffle ball) but you ride around in bumper cars and your trying to score by making shots in a flat basket on the wall. I really wish I had taken photos so I could illustrate this. This was hysterical to play, we had about twenty people and we played in shifts (8-10 minute games are more than long enough) and you play in teams. It was great! It was easy for all us to learn and lots of laughter! Thanks to Jenny and Susan for inviting me!!!


    What else can I tell you: It was a little pricy, I’m guessing it was about $300 for the court for two hours (but that’s why you bring a bunch of people). The official site is http://whirlyball.com/ but they don’t list all the locations, I’m only listing it since it has some visuals. The scoops and the wiffleball is available as a kids game on it’s own (you basically just play catch) but none of us could think of the name of the game, we found it as a toy called Jai Alai but we thought the sport used much longer scoops (can anyone help me with the name of this kids game?!?)…

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    Written By: Gary on August 11, 2004 No Comment

    england04-24_09-08-52So while I was in England I got to hang out with Monika, Danielle and Alysha. They were a blast and the kids had these accents that were so cute it actually sounded like that they were pretending to have accents. I should have recorded them so I could add an audio clip here.

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    Written By: Gary on July 21, 2004 One Comment

    Anyone from London (England) read this blog? I’m in town for the next week, I’ve got my rollerblades so I’m all over and I’d love to say hi if you get this! Leave a note or leave a comment if you do…

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