This is the next to last issue of Sports & More (SAM) for the 2012 - 13 school year. Normally, it would be the final issue of the school year, but the “balanced” calendar adopted by several local schools has necessitated another issue to be distributed on May 28 (May 27 would be the normal distribution day, but we will be celebrating Memorial Day that day). Again, I want to thank all of the students and student/athletes in Hendricks County who let me be a part of their academic and athletic lives. It is more fun than a human being should be allowed to have. In an effort to continue to improved SAM, I have already begun developing plans for improvements/modifications to the 2013 - 2014 iteration. I will leave you with that; a cliff-hanger of sorts. (I hate it when one of my favorite TV shows ends their season finale with a “Continued Next Season” trailer. I alsounder stand and appreciate the lure of such a tactic, thus I am not above utilizing such a ploy.) As most of you are aware, I tend to be a bit picayune concerning many aspects of the American English language that regularly endure unwarranted abuse; further/farther, accept/except, effect/affect, subject/verb tense disagreements, and/also, double negatives...the list is extensive. Last week I heard, what I consider to be, another malapropism - “genuinely sincere”. It seems to me if sincerity is not genuine, by definition it cannot be sincerity. Sincerity is defined as “not feigned, true, honest, unadulterated”. Genuine is defined as “actually possessing the attributes, free from hypocrisy or dishonesty”. I suppose there could be honest dishonesty, something which is genuinely not true; dishonest dishonesty would be a double negative resulting in a positive and producing honesty. I think I have written myself into some sort of “infinite illogic-loop”. It just did not sound correct to me when I heard it. I have mentioned my part-time office manager/assistant, Alaina. Alaina is diligently trying to bring me more into the 21st century’s technology, as well as making many of my office operations more efficient and effective. I have been pleased, until recently, she has not tried to get me to update my cell phone. I know it is a dinosaur, but it does everything I want/need it to do. Last week she mentioned I should upgrade to something more advanced. I asked her “Why?” She responded that she knows I really do not need much if any of the new technology, she just wanted to be entertained watching me go crazy trying to figure how to use it.
May 13, 2013
By Ronnie Wilson
This spring has been, without a doubt, the strangest one for coverage of local high school varsity sports. Coupling the extended/split/modified school-year break calendars followed by some local school systems, but not all, the weather impaired/delayed/postponed game schedules and the need to make-up many of those events, it has been a chore to find enough content to fill 20 pages each week. (Actually, a couple of weeks it was impossible and only 16 pages were published.) There was a benefit to all of these postponements, at least for me; I have had more free evenings this spring season than I remember ever having. Unfortunately, those free evenings were usually due to inclement weather. With the plethora of wetness most of those free days, I was not able to begin, let alone finish, many, if not most, of my outside home repair/enhancement projects. The malaise of not covering events and not being able to work outside was sufficient enough to preclude me from undertaking most of my indoor projects as well. It was just so easy to plop my carcass in my recliner, get a bowl of munchies, turn-on the tube and nod-off sporadically during the evening. (Fortunately, for me, a pre-bedtime nap or two does not inhibit my ability to get to sleep at my usual bedtime of 1 or 2 a.m.) The down side is that I feel as though I am not doing my job/duty in providing the best and most comprehensive coverage of high school varsity sports in Hendricks County. I like it when I have too many photos to fill 20 pages. It gives me the freedom to be much more selective of the images I publish. Typically, when the number of events is limited, the selection of dramatic images to publish is reduced as well. I am writing this on Thursday. So far this week I have had two free evenings, Wednesday and Thursday, and it looks a though Friday may be an off day as well. I intentionally took Wednesday off. There were only two local events, both at Plainfield, softball and baseball. My schedule for the week already had four other Plainfield events scheduled. Which is usually more than I schedule for any given school in a week, unless the events are all against other county schools. Thursday was a rain out. Which is why I am writing this now, rather than waiting until Saturday or Sunday, as is my custom. I am hopeful tomorrow (Friday) is not rained out as I have a cornucopia of photo spaces remaining to be filled. Saturday is lost for me due to taking a local junior league‘s individual and group photos. Wait a minute, I think I hear my recliner calling me and a bowl of munchies is beckoning as well.
May 6, 2013
By Ronnie Wilson
This past weekend I attended a graduation ceremony at Indiana University in Bloomington. I was impressed by more than one aspect of the afternoon. First, the primary speakers were effective, relevant and held my attention. (Their pronouncements were a little longer than I would have preferred, but not endless droning of pabulum.) The acknowledgement of a variety of individual and group accomplishments of several graduates was also included. The one acknowledgement that most impressed me, received the loudest and longest applause from the crowd and was the most deserving of recognition and thanks, was for the recent United States military veterans graduating. Good move IU. I am writing this on Sunday May 5th. You may be thinking, Ooh - “Cinco de Mayo”; but for me this day has a much more relevant and important significance. It is my daughter, Wendy’s, birthday. I will not embarrass her by telling you her age, but she was born in 1971. I wished her a happy birthday today and we enjoyed a dinner together, but I thought I would do it again, publicly; Happy Birthday, Pyle. (If you are a regular reader of this column, you know the history of her nickname, “Pyle”, if not, I will go into detail in a later column next school year.) Thee are three hard-copy issues of Sports & More, (SAM), remaining for the 2012-13 school year. Normally, there are just 36 issues each year, but the implementation of the “balanced schedule” by several local school systems threw a monkey wrench into this spring’s scheduling. Dealing with Mother Nature in the Indiana spring athletic schedule is chaotic, but throw in the disparity of convoluted spring breaks and it is enough to drive a man wacko. (Fortunately, I became a resident at the Wacko destination decades ago, so I am somewhat familiar with it.) I have on occasion applied the phrase, “addition-by-subtraction” (ie - the removal of something actually makes the overall performance better) to situations I have observed in business, sports and personal endeavors. I recently experienced addition-by-subtraction in my business life. I provided services to a local organization for several years. I will not go into all of the gory details of why I no longer provide said services, but upon further examination I discovered it cost me $3,000 - 3,500 more per year than my total gross sales to provide the services. In essence, I lost a customer and gained income - addition-by-subtraction. Good move Ronnie.
April 29, 2013
By Ronnie Wilson
I passed a new milestone/set a new record this past weekend. My previous office/home has not sold as yet, so I am still the primary maintenance guy. With the recent downpours and smattering of sunshine, the grass has been growing exceedingly fast. I mowed it for the second time this season last Saturday. It took 2.5 hours. The grass was not excessively high, but my mowing pace has diminished, significantly. When I initially bought the house 12 years ago, I was able to mow the almost three-quarters of an acre in about an hour and 45 minutes; no rest periods. I use a push (non-self-propelled) power mower. Little by little that time has increased. This last Saturday, not only did it take me more than two hours of mowing time, but I needed to take a five minute break approximately every 45 minutes. I do not like where this is heading. Many of you are probably thinking, “Why does he not purchase a self-propelled mower or better yet, a riding mower?” The answer is very simple: it allows me to kill three birds with one stone - I get almost two hours of decent exercise, (without the expense of a gym membership and no additional equipment to purchase), I get my yard mowed and I get a little fresh air. The self-propelled and riding options may appear to be quicker, but in the long run the multi-tasking is a more productive option; at least it is from my prospective, and I am going to stick to that story. Another reason is the commonly held belief that men do not multi-task well. While I believe, in general, that is true, in this instance the adage is less than applicable. I mentioned my previous house/office has not sold as yet, and it appears as though I will not be selling it. I have decided to rent it. Financially, I believe it is a better move for me. The down side is I am not looking forward to being a property manager, (what I do not need is to add another job/activity to my current list of endeavors). Maybe I will hire a property manager. For now, I have a nice four bedroom, two bath, full basement with old-school hardwood floors for rent.
April 22, 2013
By Ronnie Wilson
I was very sedentary this past winter, more so than usual. I am not sure as to why, but it is obvious that I was. The easiest to spot is the extra poundage I managed to acquire. I have determined, no weight is ever really lost, it merely finds someone else in which to inhabit. My son, Chuck, recently shed a significant amount of lbs. Unfortunately, they found their way to me. I was recently at a track meet and needed to obtain a roster of participants. There was no one at the entrance to the event, so I thought there might be someone in the press box. I climbed the steps to the press box. The climb was not particularly difficult, but I was breathing rather hard when I reached the top. I rationalized it was due to the 25# of camera equipment I was carrying in my camera bag, but I know better; I was grossly out of shape. Last Tuesday I made one of my regular visits to my cardiologist. He informed me I needed to increase my exercise/activity level, NOW. On Wednesday I began walking. My first trek was for merely 32 minutes; the next day I increased it to 34 minutes; on Friday I was out striding for 36 minutes. Saturday and Sunday were very busy with photographing junior sports leagues, local high school athletic events and putting together this issue of Sports & More, thus I was unable to take a bit of a hike. I live about two blocks from a local park, which has walking trails, so my walks are convenient. During one of my walks I spotted a couple, probably younger than I, also walking. We exchanged acknowledging nods and each continued our journey. I also noticed when they got into their car to leave. I am often times perplexed by some of the behaviors I witness in others. This was one such occasion. As the walking couple drove away I noticed a prominent bumper sticker on their car. At the time I did not think much of it. What gave me pause is when I saw it again a little while later when I returned from my walk. That car was parked in the driveway just a couple of houses down the street from my house. I recognized the bumper sticker as well as a rearview mirror dangling ornament. They had just driven two blocks to and from the park to get some exercise by walking. Why not just walk the beginning and ending two blocks. The net results would be a little extra exercise and a reduction in fuel costs. (I know, a total of four blocks of driving is not going to save the planet, but every little bit helps, and there is a principle involved.) I am hopeful there is a rational explanation, but on the surface, it eludes me.
April 15, 2013
By Ronnie Wilson
For very selfish reasons, I do not like the two week spring break. It throws a monkey-wrench into the scheduling mechanics of publishing Sports & More (SAM). This year I was prepared to publish an issue and distribute it on March 25, prior to spring break for three of the county schools; which I did. I was then going to publish a new issue on April 8th which would cover all eleven of the activities that occurred during the two week break. (Mid-week I would deliver, late, the March 25 issue to those schools which did not receive that issue on the 25th.) It was a good plan, but it did not happen. As is frequently the case, Indiana weather was not very cooperative the week of March 25 through March 30. It almost seemed like Mother Nature was intentionally trying to mess with me. Monday and Tuesday of that week were more suited to snow skiing and/or ice fishing and slogging around in a mud bog. Wednesday was not much better, the temperature was above freezing, but not by much. Plainfield tennis hosted Danville. I managed to get several shots, but only after donning a second insulated jacket, hunting gloves and a stocking hat. (As most of you know, I enjoy the Indiana winter weather, but this was not fun, even for me. There I was well, into the first week of spring break and I had coverage of only one event to fill 20 pages. This was not going to work. Since I had not checked my event schedule for the second week of the break, I was hopeful there would be several events to cover which would fill 20 or so pages. I started to put together my event schedule for the week of April 1 through April 6. Avon had a softball game and a track meet scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. This was a good start. There may be enough local events to fill 20 pages. I checked the Brownsburg schedule - nothing. That was OK, there were still four more schools to check. (I did not have the Bethesda schedules, so they were not in the mix as yet.) Cascade was next on my list, nothing again. My confidence level was beginning to wane. The Danville schedule was also empty for the week. A bit of panic began to develop. The Quakers of Plainfield were also conducting no events at home. Now I was in trouble. Just to be sure, I checked the Tri-West schedules - again, nothing.. Now it was on to Plan-B, except I did not have a Plan-B. After what seemed like hours of considerable layout manipulations and machinations I decided I would not publish another issue until April 15th. That is a three week break between issues, not my idea of fun. As of the writing of this treatise I am not sure whether or not this issue will be 16 or 20 pages. Mother Nature’s warped sense of humor will dictate that outcome. The last hard-copy issue of this school year was initially expected to be May 20, now it will be May 27. Tri-West will be the only school not in session that week. If their seasons have not ended, I will make copies available at all of their events I cover. Sports & More, on-line, will continue to be published as long as local teams are still involved in their regular seasons or the post season tournaments. As you can see, my reasons for not liking the extended break is selfish. I have talked to teachers and administrators and they all seem to be in favor of the longer break. The students are overwhelmingly in favor of additional time off. The extended break reminds me of an observation made by an old Native American chief who commented on Daylight Saving Time. He said something to the effect, “Only a politician would cut a foot off of the bottom of a blanket and sew it to the top of the blanket then tell you, you now have a longer blanket I am curious as to the logic longer breaks during the middle of the year coupled with earlier start and later end dates produces more teaching/learning opportunities. I also wonder about the economics of attempting to cool a building in the heat of August versus cooling it during the temperate weather of the middle/end of spring. I am sure there is a plethora of other factors to consider, and I know the above is my limited point of view, but I feel better, temporarily, from having vented.. Anybody out there care to comment on the above or other area(s) of interest, irritation. Sports & More welcomes comments from our readers.