Red Rocks

Red Rocks

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ND State Boys Soccer in Mandan

So the boys got a good nights sleep and showed up ready to play. There really wasn't much doubt as Century scored in the first half on a free kick with Rauhauser scoring. Then in the second half Hunter took a ball from the left wing and pounded it off the post so low and so hard that it bounced off the left post and hit Kessler in the back and went in solid. BHS got all bent out of shape and got no less than 8 cards, most of which were for whining and complaining to the referee after he'd blown the whistle. The Patriots controlled the entire second half and T.J. Gunsch put it away with a breakaway 1 on 1 with Kessler the Bismarck Goalie.

At this point I have to interject on behalf of this young man. His name is Austin Mack and he is the hardest working young man I have encountered for a long time. He is a full time student at Dickinson High School who runs cross-country and track for them, but in the fall he is a soccer machine. Dickinson has no soccer so he petitioned the NDHSAA to coop with a west region school to play soccer. Mandan (quite unwittingly) refused to take him so Century (wisely) said yes. What we have gotten in return is 2 of the finest years of selfless defending one could ever hope to witness. This young man has the best combination of body control, strength, and speed that I have witnessed in 10 years of ND High School soccer. Yeah, somebody beat the keeper and put in three goals, but Austin seriously kicked some ass. He and Matt McArthur took no prisoners when the other teams brought the ball into the house. How about 5-0. 1-0, and 3-0 for the tournament.
"Nuff said.

Here is Hunter picking up his first place trophy after two very disappointing second place finishes in 2009 and 2010.

Also let me say that this team has no bad boys, no whiners, and they all played their hearts out because Joel expected it of them. And don't forget Krista Grey, who as the highest ranking female coach in ND boys Soccer taught these young men more than a thing or two about what being a real man is all about.

And this picture says it all: 20 young men who worked hard, persevered when they were 3-3-0 and ended up marching through the 2011 State tournament unscored upon.

A huge thank you to Coach Joel Jahnke and his assistant Krista. For the record, Joel's record as head coach of Century is extraordinary: His teams have finished 1st, 5th, 2nd, 2nd, and 1st in state during his tenure. He accomplished this with 4 seniors in 2010, and 3 Seniors in 2011. Hint: The entire state of North Dakota should be doing something to try and derail the Century TRAIN. I can't believe that anybody with any sense isn't picking Century to repeat in 2012.

And here is Hunter's goal in the 2011 Championship game.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Semifinal Day at the NDHSBSST

Century got the 5:00 game against St. Mary's and a weird one it was. Century scored on a free kick about 2 minutes in and that was it. You read that correctly, another 78 minutes of soccer with no more scoring. Century controlled the ball, set the tone, and got most of the shots despite St. Mary's having a goal disallowed for an offensive foul in the box. Meanwhile, the temporary "Papa's Pumpkin Patch set up near the speedway grandstand started on fire. It took the Mandan Fire Dept. a good 25 minutes to respond and then the thing smoldered for the rest of the game.

2nd semi was the Bismarck High School Demons (many of whom are Hunter's old teammates from Capital City Soccer) who got off to a poor start, allowing Fargo Shanley to score twice in the first 10 minutes. After that, however, it was all Bismarck as they scored twice in the first half to tie it, and the game winner with 20 minutes left. Fargo Shanley has some really talented players and are well coached but the "flops" got old fast and by the second half the referee was not willing to call any foul that had resulted in a Shanley player on the ground. Reap what you sow....

Tomorrow St. Mary's gets another shot at Shanley (they tied tied the only other time they played) and then the big one is CHS vs. BHS at 3:00. On paper Century is the much better team, but BHS has the 12 Senior vs. The CHS 3 Seniors (none of whom are in the top 5 Century players.)

We have lots of fans coming to the game: Grandma Bonnie is already here, Auntie Susan and kids are coming, Uncle Tom if he gets back from Glendive or Dilworth in time, Uncle Mike and Aunt Shelly were at the game tonight and will be there tomorrow.

We're trying to break a little jinx here tomorrow. Neither Mike nor I ever won a state championship, Joe got 2nd twice in soccer and went to state 2-3 time in hockey, and now Hunter has taken second place twice in soccer as well. Could this be the year that a Towle finally plays on a State Championship team? Stay tuned tomorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011 North Dakota High School Boys Soccer Tournament

So here we go again. Century is seeded #1 from the West for the third year in a row. As you may know from previous posts they took 2nd in 2008, losing to Fargo South. They took 2nd in 2009, losing to West Fargo in overtime.

This year they got off on the right foot by soundly defeating Fargo Davies 5-0. Hunter missed 2 shots from inside the 6, and then was absolutely taken out by the keeper on his 3rd attempt. The keeper gets a yellow card and Hunter's friend Alec pounded home the penalty kick.

Hunter also was interviewed by one of the local TV stations about his "helmet" and concussion history. It was a nice story and actually discussed an important topic during the 6:00 sports.

In the other afternoon game St. Mary's came from behind to tie West Fargo 2-2 in regulation. It was scoreless through 2 overtimes and then St Mary's won the shootout 4-2.

In the evening games Fargo Shanley handled Minot easily 3-0, and Bismarck really took it to Fargo South leading 2-0 at halftime after playing into the wind and driving rain. I will update that score when I know the final.

What it means is a rubber match between Century and St Mary's in one bracket, and a showdown between West #2 BHS and East #1 Fargo Shanley in the other. Just guessing that the Bismarck firepower and home cooking will win out, and Century will outplay St Mary's for the other spot. CHS vs. BHS Final? Very Likely.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

8th grade Soccer Champs

Luke and Will's 8th grade soccer team the Horizon Huskies won the city tournament over the weekend. On Friday they beat St. Mary's by a score of 3-1. On Saturday morning they defeated the Wachter Purple team 3-2, and then Saturday afternoon on the big field in Mandan they crushed the previously undefeated Wachter White team 7-2. Will played primarily central defender and some midfield, while Luke spent most of his time at mid. They both took some nice corner kicks and played some good defense. After the game we all went to a celebration at the home of teammate Ethan. It was an absolutely gorgeous evening and the boys played the whole time. I think this is the first time these two have ever won a championship - I remember many 2nd and 3rd place finishes in multiple sports so it was nice to see them get the win. Next year they have to try out for the Century varsity team which is cool since that will be Hunter's Senior year. Odds are slim but it would be really fun if they would get a chance to play on the field with their big (HA!) older brother. Congratulations Luke and Will!

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Here are come pictures I took in Minot after the floodwaters receded.

This is the house that I grew up in, from age 4 until I graduated from college. Thankfully, my Mom sold it about a year and a half ago and moved up onto the hill but the new owner's didn't get so lucky.

This is the view looking in the living room windows towards the kitchen.

This is the view of the dining room and kitchen from inside the garage.

I can't begin to tell you how disheartening it was to see Latimer's and Fredrickson's and Aberle's and Wald's and Schmidt's all ruined. The piles of rotting sheetrock and wood and garbage reek, all the grass and many of the trees are dead, and it is a ghost town except for the few trying to clean up.

Friday, July 01, 2011

My Summer Vacation....

Off to MPLS/St.Paul for a fun filled weekend of baseball, eating, and drinking. We'll watch the Twins try and right the ship on Saturday and Sunday against the Brewers, and make necessary stops at Cossetta's, Saigon Kitchen, Ted Cook's 19th Hole, Sawatdee, and Cafe Latte. Let's see, that's Italian, Vietnamese, Barbecue, Thai, and Dessert. Oh the Joy!

We'll be staying with our longtime friend MaryPat and lovely daughter Winnie and taking the first trip with someone's girlfriend.

Haven't been keeping up, but the City of Minot is suffering from the worst flood in recorded (i.e. white man) history. The childhood home is sitting in 6-7 feet of water, and thank Zeus or Allah or whomever's in charge my Mom sold it a year and a half ago so we no longer have any family in the flood plain. 10,000+ human beings were not as fortunate.

Work is a little wierder than usual but can't really pass along any info until the lawyers have stopped chewing on the bones...

Life really is grand. Shitty, shitty weather for the last 9 months, still considerable risk of flood here in Bismarck as record snow melt hits the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers, Boys are great, handsome, and trying to play the beautiful game.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"I Just Wanna Be A Music Man ..."

This fine young man just received a full scholarship to study with a famous violinist for 2 weeks as a part of the National Music Festival in Floyd, Virginia. His mentor will be Jessica Mathaes who is the concertmaster of the Austin (Texas) Symphony. It is a very intensive 2 weeks with numerous performance opportunities, and his mother is going to accompany him (under 18 = needs a chaperone). They are flying out on May 27th and will be back late on June 12th.

The other boys and I will do a little bonding while they're gone, and summer soccer is in full swing already with the first Great Plains soccer league games starting June 2nd.

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of Spring. And No, I'm not kidding. JV West Region Baseball Tournament cancelled as we're expecting up to 3 inches of rain over the next 2 days. At least it's not snow.

Up to Minot next weekend for a high school graduation. It will be fun to spend a little time with the families.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ah, the joys of spring!

We are back in the storm season with our second blizzard in 10 days. These spring storms tend to be warmer but with heavier and wetter snowfall. Weatherman hedging his bets by predicting 8 - 16 inches. I took a couple of inches of slush off the driveway when I got home from work. Also not very excited to try and drive to Rochester, MN tomorrow as the roads will probably be crappy (if they are open) and it is a long way.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ND Middle Level Honors Orchestra ... and such.

Luke & Will spent two days in Devils Lake for the ND Middle School Honors Orchestra workshop and concert. Entry into this group is by audition only and the boys were two of the very few 7th graders invited. Will was the principal 2nd Violin (following in Hunter's footsteps) and Luke was 3rd chair cello. The conductor again this year was Jane Capistran who teaches at Concordia College in Moorhead. The boys had fun, meeting up with a couple of friends from International Music Camp last summer, and making some new friends. They were not very impressed, however, with the town of Devils Lake, the Middle School, the eating establishments, or the Super 8 Motel. We are hoping that next year it is back in Jamestown which was a much easier drive. Tonight I learned how to download the video and pictures from our new HD video camera so I'll post a video and a couple of Christmas pictures that we finally have access to.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The persistence of Art

I've just finished a couple of books on prehistoric cave art in Europe, including one called The Cave of Lascaux, The Final Photographs. This very famous cave was closed to the public in 1963 (only discovered in 1940) because of concerns over known and probable future damage due to light, pollution, temperature changes, etc.

It has extraordinary paintings and occasional etchings, some of which are layered on top of previous art. Obviously, there is no way to be sure of the meaning or content or purpose for these drawings which human beings rendered almost 20,000 years ago.

My favorite image appears near this image:

Known popularly as The Great Black Cow, it was painted over an earlier mural of multiple horses. What I love, however, is not the cow but the symbol (or blazon) which appears beneath the hind legs. You can see the "patchwork" colored rectangular box just in front of and below the left hind leg.

What you see when you look at the blazon directly is this image:

These are polychromic signs that are nearly as abstract as any modern painting you've ever seen.

I find this painting incredibly beautiful and believe it must have meant something to it's human creator.

Below is a (bad) photograph I took last summer at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. It is by an American Abstract Expressionist named Mark Rothko. This painting was made around 1965 as part of a series he did for a chapel in Ft. Worth, Texas. It is distorted by the angle at which I took it to avoid glare, but in person the purplish/brown center is so ... rich that it is like looking into a great depth of water, and one can almost go into a trance while looking at all the subtleties.

Obviously, it is very likely that Mr. Rothko and many others knew of these ancient images, and some modern artists had even possibly seen cave paintings in person. I think it is delightful that I still find beautiful what one person created 45 years ago as well as something another person made 20,000 years ago.

In case you didn't think to try, the images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 is over.

Just a quick note. The boys are heading in to their Indoor soccer tournaments and then we're "free" for a month or so until summer soccer starts. We don't yet know much about teams or travel but will work in Niece Amanda's wedding in July, and hope to meet Nephew Joe's new daughter Helena this summer, too.

Would really like to get to Target Field for some outdoor baseball soon.

And finally, could this be the summer I play more than 6 or 8 rounds of golf?????

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shorter Republican Response to the SOTU Address...

"You losers are all going to be living on catfood for the rest of your lives so you might as well do that under Republican rule, and besides, while trying to stave off the 2nd Great Depression the black guy added 2 trillion to the 12 trillion dollar deficit we had so lovingly created."

Rep. Ryan (R-Dumbshit-Wisconsin)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Manic Thursday...

I worked in Jamestown today at the James River Correctional Center. This is part of my contract with the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. What this really means is I provide the primary eye care to all inmates at the ND State Penitentiary, Missouri River Correctional Center, James River Correctional Center, and Youth Correctional Center. The only State inmates I am not responsible for are the female inmates, who are housed at the Women's facility in New England, ND.

I have been doing this for about 15 years at NDSP, about 10 years at JRCC, and about 6-7 years for YCC and MRCC. Needless to say I have examined many of the state's notorious and famous criminals, but mostly what I see are the dumb guys (and kids) who let alcohol and drugs affect their decision-making ( or just as often, lack of decision-making). A vast majority of these people - fellow citizens, by the way - are not evil or cruel or even very unusual. They almost always, though, are unwilling or unable to think through the long term consequences of their actions, and show little, if any, regard for the welfare of not only their fellow citizens, but even their own.

As a former educator, I can see so many patterns being repeated. As a parent I see so many obvious signs of abuse and neglect. As a citizen and taxpayer I see so much waste: yes, money, but also talent and the human resources, including many of the inmates own talents.

What got me thinking about this was a discussion between NY Times columnist Bob Herbert and Rachel Maddow on her show tonight. What Mr. Herbert contends, and with which I agree completely, is that our society is in true denial about how violent a society we are, and we basically ignore every run of the mill shooting, stabbing, suicide, spouse murder, etc. and then pay a little lip service to the BIG ONES like Virginia Tech and Columbine and Tuscon and say "that was a freak thing, Thank God that doesn't happen every day, we're so lucky to live where we do." All of which allows us to neatly tie up the package of violence and say "It's not much of a problem."

Guess what? It is a huge, enormous everyday fact of life that a citizen of The US is more likely to be shot to death in this country than anyone anywhere else on Earth including such notorious bastions of liberty and lawlessness as Iraq and Afghanistan. Afghanis were statistically safer under Taliban rule than Americans are today in the United States of America. Where is the outrage? Where is the empathy for our fellow man? WHY do we not only condone but LOVE violence so much?

I know there is no neat answer, but our leaders and our fellow citizens are not even thinking about the questions, let alone the answers.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Family Vacation

So we packed up the boys and drove to Red Lodge, Montana for three days of snowboarding and relaxation. The weather was fairly warm but windy, and they hadn't had any new snow in 3-4 days. We didn't get any snow while we were there so we dealt with some pretty icy runs. Hunter spent most of his time with high school classmate and fellow soccer player Chris O, and Luke and Will spent time with Ben O. I did my usual cruising and avoidance of any super busy or super hard runs. No mishaps except a trifecta where I fell getting off the chairlift three times in a row and then not again all weekend. We rented a house near the golf course which we split with our friends the Ottemillers. Everybody had their own bed and lots of space to spread out. We grilled three nights and had great breakfasts every day. There was an outdoor hot tub but no cable TV or Internet service so we spent some of the free time watching movies. Tami had the lousy job of running us up to the mountain and then finding something to do (in addition to doing lots of laundry) until it was time to pick us up. She skied part of a morning the last time we were there, but that ended when some kid on a snowboard ran her over from behind. This year she decided to skip the possible injury altogether.