Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Backpack

My current Cabella's backpack is in good shape I decided it was time to get a backpack that was specifically designed for disc golf.

I ended up getting a Grip EQ large backpack in all black.

The first thing I had to do was put some patches on it to customize it a little.

The patch with my name I had made at a local embroidery shop. The black & grey flag patch was chosen to fit in with the all black bag.

I had to put my Towlie patch on the towel pocket...

The Grip bag seems to be very well made. Instead of PVC tubing to frame the bag sheets of rigid plastic are built in to the bag to keep it's shape. the back of the bag forms to your back making it a very easy back pack to wear.

It is a very comfortable backpack. I have about 18 discs in the main compartment and there is room for a few more. The putter pocket up top has room for a few discs and the side pockets have plenty of space. The front storage pocket has just enough room for my keys (there is a clip for them) my glucose meter & wallet.

I'm keeping my Cabella's back pack as a back-up (that bag is a great economical alternative to the Grip bag)

 The Grip will be my primary backpack now. I highly recommend this backpack to anyone who is looking for a top of the line disc golf backpack.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Day Doubles

I got up early this morning to play a Thanksgiving day round at Loriella with Austin, Justin & Tim. The weather couldn't have been better. We ended up playing double. Me & Austin vs. Justin & Tim.

Justin & Tim ended up -10 and Austin & I ended up -8. Austin was hitting the drives and I was hitting the putts to keep it close.

Austin throwin' a 450' shot...

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Season is Over...

Winter is finally setting in. I'm still playing but the tournament season is done for 2012. It had been more than 20 years since I had played in tournaments. Bowling Green Open in 1994 and not much has changed.

I played in 7 events this year and finished at the bottom or dead last in my division 6 times. The only exception was the Battlefield Open in Richmond where I finished 12th out of 26 players in intermediate. That was a bid day for me. It was the first time I had ever finished in the prizes in a PDGA sanctioned event. My prize? Three Crystal Z Buzzzes.

My worst tournament had to have been the last two. In Advanced Masters at the Winchester IFO I was had a terrible first round but the second round was going much better and with 2 holes left I was beating my morning round by 5 strokes. Unfortunately for me I had a 6 & 4 to finished the round and finished with the exact same score. I finished last and the kicker was a real nice guy who has been only playing for about a year and in his first tournament finished ahead of me because of the end of the round blow up.

The exact same thing happened again last weekend at the Fall Colors at Newport News DGC. I had an average morning round (I was still in last place) But my afternoon round was going so much better until with 4 holes left I decided to fuck it all up and finish with the same score as my morning round and put a choke hold on that last position.

I have decided that next year I am going to be in the Advanced Grand Masters division and will be semi-retired from tournaments and play in local tournamnets only. I can finish last locally. I don't need to drive 150-200 miles to finish last anymore.

On a better note I finished my latest dye last night. I have been wanting to do this one for a long time...

Thursday, November 01, 2012

All Hail the Disc!

I make no bones about my political ideals. I also believe that President Obama is one of those once in a lifetime historical figures that is at the right place, at the right time. I had been wanting to do an Obama dye for a long time and when I got my hands on a Glow Leopard I didn't waste any time.

The red got under the mask and messed up the blue a little but some of the guys that have seen it say it's a cool effect. Leopards are my favorite discs but I haven't decided if I'm going to put this one in my bag  or hang it on the wall. I might try it again and if I can keep the colors from bleeding I'll hang that one up.

Bored at work = evental disc dye

A few nights ago I was bored at work and started tinkering around with the Spotsy DGC logo to see if I could update it.

This is what I ended up with...

I think I did okay. Later that night I figured it would make a pretty good disc dye and after about an hour of cutting I ended up with this on my old 166 Discraft Glide....

It turned out a lot better than I thought it would considering it was a beat up disc. There were some bleeds but not too bad. The outer edge is not as dark as it looks in the pic.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pretty Good Disc Golf Day

Today I drove up to Lancaster Park in Maryland for Jerry's Ace Race. An Ace Race is an event sponsored by Discraft. You get two proto type discs and the holes are shortened from 75'-200'. You don't keep score in a conventional way. You get one throw per hole and either you hit an Ace or any metal part of the basket. The player after two rounds with the most Aces or metal hits wins. Jerry set his event up a little different. Instead of two rounds each group will play each hole twice.

The disc this year were very good for me. They were very Leopard like and I throw Leopards all the time. So for about 30 minutes before the start time I go out and throw some practice shots and right off the bat I hit an Ace on hole #1.

My group started on #1 and my first throw I hit the chains solid but it doesn't stick. I have several close calls but I don't hit metal again until hole 9. My next good shot was on #12 when I hit the CTP. By this time I have 2 metal hits and Sean has 1 metal hit. So far no one has hit an Ace and only a few have hit metal.

We get to #17 and I throw a straight shot and it hits the middle of the basket about an inch too low. So now I have 3 metal hits and feeling pretty good. There are only a few holes left for everyone. Sean says as we walk back to #17 tee pad for our second throw "I'll have to hit an Ace to beat your 3 metal hits".

He steps up to the tee pad and immediately throws a straight shot hard in to the chains for an Ace.

So now my 3 metal hits have turned from probable lead to out of it with just 2 throws left on 18. Here's where the really strange happens. As we walk to 18 I'm looking back and see a disc hit #17 for an Ace from the group directly behind ours.

I miss my last 2 shots and Sean's 1 Ace & his 1 metal hit breaks the 1 Ace tie and he takes the win. I end up tied for third with 3 metal hits and win the CTP on #12.

After the lunch break Jerry had a "One & Done" round. This is where you pick 1 disc from your bag for the entire round. I chose my Champ Leopard and ended up 4th  in the Intermediate group cashing $9 and won $15 for Intermediate CTP.

It was a good day for me...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hawk Hollow Open - Ams

Today was the Ams turn at Hawk Hollow. Two roundsof disc golf in perfect weather. 

The light was ideal combined with the fall colors. To see all the pics click the link...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hawk Hollow Open

The pros came to Hawk Hollow to play some Disc Golf and my contribution was to take pics of the players in action.

The hot pepper eatin' contest was insane!

It was absolutely perfect weather all weekend. Clear blue skies, cool temps and a slight breeze.

For all the pics click the link...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hawk Hollow Open

Well it's that time of year again. Time for the Hawk Hollow Open AM & Pro tournaments. I thought about playing in the AM event this year but decided that it would be easier on my  ankles to just help out the TD and shoot some pics of the action.

One thing I was able to do was dye the tourney trophy discs. The first one I did was for the Hot Pepper eating contest that is held during the Pro weekend. John Biscoe grows them on his farm so they are fresh and juicy. These guys have to eat several varieties of hot peppers from Jalapenos to the Moruga Scorpion. I had to look that one up on Wikipedia and according to that source....

"The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (Capsicum chinense), endemic to the district of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago, is currently the world's hottest Chili pepper cultivar. The New Mexico State University's Chili Pepper Institute has identified the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion as the newest hottest chili pepper in the world as of February 2012.[1][2] According to the New Mexico State University Chile Institute, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion ranks as high as 2,009,231 SHU on the Scoville scale, making it the hottest chili pepper in the world to date.[3] "

Whoever wins will get this disc...

I also did the division winners for this weekends AM event...


Monday, September 24, 2012

DGCR Mid-Atlantic Meet

This weekend 30 DGCR members converged on Hawk Hollow for a weekend of disc golf. The weather couldn't have been any better. Clear blue skies and fair temps made the event.

It was a great weekend. Lots of disc golf, good food and perfect disc golf weather.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Improved Putter

Altitude DG is going out of business and all of their plastic is 1/2 price. I was able to find an orange 165 Champion Dart and decided to try and improve my first putter dye.

This could be my best dye as far as cutting the mask clean and very minimum bleeds.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Do a Little Dye, Play a Little Golf

I've been sick with a cold all week. It's been especially sucky considering this week the heat of Summer has been broken by the coming fall. I couldn't resist playing some morning rounds.

Today I woke up late and got started on finishing up my latest dye for a friend that is starting her disc golf journeys.

I ripped off the the girl from Greenday's "Kerplunk" album to pull this one off.

Afternoon was looking sweet for a round so I headed out to Loriella and as I walked up to the first tee Chris, his brother Dave, Randy and their friends were there so we played teams. 

This was one of my best rounds ever. Parked birdie shots on #1, #2 & #7. Hit a 75' laser shot on #8 for birdie. Hit several 30'-40' putts and after 16 we were tied with Randy's team at 3 under.

Randy Parked the tee shot and I was about 30' out and hit the putt to keep up at -4. 

Randy threw another good tee shot on 18 and was about 15' out. Dave's drive had us out about 25'. Dave missed but I was able to hit the putt to keep us at 5 under.

The tie breaker was a tee shot from 18's basket to #1's basket and again Randy teed up a great shot. My partner Dave went long & I wasn't too bad about 20' out but we both missed the putt and Randy was able to put it away.

But it was a great round for me. A lot of great drives, some great upshots & really good putting.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Multi-Color 2nd Attempt

My new 134 Champion Blizzard Katana needed a samurai theme so I went to my favorite subject. Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie T. Head.

I figured with my Champion Cobra if I called you a loser but Mickey had a smile that would be OK.

Multi-Color Disc Dyes

It's been a while since I have posted anything. I did play in two tournaments. Did about the usual and didn't get in the prizes but I had fun.

The DGCR Hawk Hollow meet is coming up in 2 weeks and my contribution to the prize pool was to dye the trophy discs for Jerry. these were my first attempt at doing multiple colors.

They didn't turn out too bad for a first multi-color attempt. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beginners Guide for Disc Dyes (Long Post)

I have been dyeing discs for a month or two and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback on how well they look. I also get a lot of questions from others who want to try it for themselves.

I dyed a few more this weekend and took a lot of pics along the way. I'm going to try and explain this step by step.

To start off you will need some specific tools that will make this easier.

A light source and Xacto knife with #10 blades. I use a new blade for every mask I cut. (Sometimes I will use the same blade for multiple simple designs) The light source I have is left over from my pre-digital photography days. A Logan desktop light box I used to edit negatives on. You could probably find these pretty cheap since most photographers that went digital will have one of these sitting in a closet collecting dust. You will also need a black sharpie, a roll of simple masking tape and an old credit card.

There are lots of ways to get the light source. If you have a glass table top just place a lamp underneath.

For supplies I use Orcal 651 clear vinyl from U.S. Cutter (I use clear vinyl it's easier for me to see through) I also use iPoly Dyes (iDye for Polyester fabrics) I get from Dharma Trading. Don't use the enhancer with this dye. I don't use Rit dyes either because they changed the formula and you have to find certain lot numbers and that's a hassle.

Now that you have everything you need now you have to get your art ready. I do all my designs in Photoshop. But use what ever art program you are most comfortable with.

I made a base file with an 8" circle that I use because most discs are about 8.5 inches in diameter. I started with a full color album cover that I scanned and then worked it in to a black & white line art. Once you get it the way you want print it out and tape it to the back side of a square of the vinyl. Cut the vinyl a minimum of an inch larger than the printout on every side. (I like to have about 2" of extra vinyl extended from the edge of the art print out, you will see why later)

Now  comes the fun part. Cutting the design out. Everywhere there is black is going to be cut out. This is where my bad vision finally pays off. I can get super close to what I'm cutting and make really detail cuts. But for your first dye start simple.

You need to use a soft touch. The vinyl cuts very easily and it real easy to cut all the way through. You will also try to keep cuts continuous without lifting the blade. This will prevent over cuts that could bleed when soaking in the dye. Weeding is removing the cuts that you want the dye to get through. I weed as I go so I don't miss anything. Some cut it all then weed out the cuts.

When cutting blocky text like the Impact Font I use a steel straight edge to get a nice clean cut.

I have found when cutting lines or detail cuts I try to cut from the inside out. This will make it easier to keep the cuts from popping up. An example would be cutting a small circle. If you cut the outside edge first you will need to hold down the vinyl while you cut the inside edge of the line. (Which is very difficult)

As I get areas cut out I cover it with masking tape. This will keep me from messing up the cuts while working on other areas.

Once I'm done with the cutting and it's all covered with tape I use a sharpie to outline the art and then center a disc to draw a circle around it all to help me center the art when I stick it to the disc. I also use the old credit card and run it over the tape so when you pull the backing off the vinyl sticks to the tape for a later step.

The next step is getting the disc ready. I use left over paint reducer to remove the stock stamps. Generic Acetone you get at any hardware store will work fine. Do this step outside.

I like to use paper towels for this part. I use a circular motion and keep my other hand behind to counter the pressure. Don't stop until all the stamp has been removed. Pay close attention to the edges. Sometimes the stamp goes in to the plastic a little and is hard to get out.

Now comes the time that can make or break the entire project. Place the mask vinyl side down and peel the backing off from one corner while holding down the vinyl with the other hand.

I do this next step a little different than others. But it will help keep air bubbles out from between the vinyl and the disc. This is where the sharpie outline will come in handy. I have the mask on my light table sticky side up. I position the disc above the mask while I press down the center of the disc. I press the disc down on the mask just enough to get the center to stick and then lift up the disc. This is what you get...

I now use the old credit card and start in the center and work my way around the art work. Why I do it this way is it's easier to work out air bubble with the vinyl hanging down than to work out air bubbles with the mask laying on top. (I ruined a mask laying it down on the disc because it's hard controlling the vinyl from sticking where you don't want it too) This is the hardest part of the process because it's a make or break procedure. Mess up the mask and it's all wasted time. So take your time and practice a few times before pulling the backing off the vinyl.

I put the backing back on the sticky side of the vinyl for the next step of pulling off the tape. 

Pull the tape off slowly watching for any small pieces of vinyl that didn't stick to the disc. If you get a renegade piece of vinyl use the Xacto blade to peel it off the tape and place it on the disc. When all the tape is off check the cuts closely to make sure there are no missing elements. Like the center of a letter or a small cut in a design that will leave a large black area.

Now I get the dye ready. I would recommend using an old large frying pan that you don't need anymore. I use an old beat up baking pan that works fine. I keep my unused and mixed dyes in Mason Jars.

Mix the dye one 1/2 oz. packet per quart of dye. Pour the dye in the quart jar and fill with hot water and mix it well. (Be careful! Mason jars don't seal well cold and if you shake it you could spill dye all over) Also try to keep you hands clean from dye you can get it all over furniture, floors and anything and it's a bitch cleaning it up. Wear old beat up clothes too.

I have a gas stove and set the flame as small as I can get it to stay lit. A good reference is to heat the dye the same temperature it would take to warm a baby bottle. Warm to the touch. You should be able to touch the side of the pan while it's on the heat. Don't get it too hot or the heat will loosen the adhesive on the vinyl and the dye will bleed where you don't want it.

While the dye is heating up now is the time to work out any air bubbles under the vinyl. The bubbles you worry about are the ones near the edges of a cut. Use the backside of the credit card to work them out. Be careful not to bind up the vinyl. Use the back of your thumbnail too. Work around the edges of the disc checking for vinyl that isn't quite stuck to the disc yet.

Once you have the mask ready and the dye is warmed up. The next step is to make a bowl with the extra vinyl. (this is where the larger square of vinyl comes in to play) Start at the corner and pinch the vinyl together to make a fold. This will also give you something to grab the disc with.

Set the disc in the warmed up dye. The time will depend on the plastic, temperature and strength of the dye. Star plastic will dye faster than Champion. Star takes just a few minutes Champion will take longer. You can grab the disc by the vinyl and lift it out just a few inches and look through the disc. (don't lift too high or dye will splash on the stove top) Be careful to keep dye from spilling over the vinyl to the back side of the disc.

You will see it getting darker and when you can't see through the dye on a Champion disc it's done. 

Use a paper towel to hold under the disc to keep dye from dripping on everything and run it under cold water. Run water on the back side of the disc to get any dye that may have dripped over the vinyl.

Now comes the fun part. pulling off the vinyl. Some guys use warm soapy water, I just use my fingernail to peel it off a little at a time. You also will want to wash your hands a few times really well before you do this so you get any dye that can smear on the disc off your fingers and from under your nails.

The last step is to remove any adhesive from the vinyl after you pulled it all off. I use Goo Gone & a paper towel.

Now your done! Congratulations you have now dyed a disc. This type of art would be good for a first try. Simple designs with few intricate cuts are the best to learn with.

This is my replacement Champion Leopard I did to replace my first dye I lost last week. I'm very proud of this one. I spent about 20 hours cutting the mask and it came out really well.

I hope this helps anyone who is interested in dyeing a disc. Maybe use an old beat up disc for your first try so if you mess up it's not a big loss.

I've only been doing this a short time but I'm having a blast. The only thing limiting you is your imagination.