Friday, December 19, 2014

Latest Project.... iPhone app

My latest project is an attempt to create a Spotsy Disc Golf iPhone app. It would be a simple app that would have directions to Loriella and Pratt. Course maps and hole descriptions.

I downloaded X-Code and began to teach myself what I'm doing. It's going slow but slowly I'm pretty confident I can get it done. So far the overwhelming aspect is all the custom art files I need to create. Like app buttons, park maps and hole descriptions.

I did get the hole descriptions  for Loriella done....

The course map took me a while but it turned out pretty good....

Now all I have to do is figure out how to create the app pages so everything works. Stay tuned....

Monday, December 08, 2014

Santa's Little Helper....

I normally don't take commissions to dye custom art on discs. But I was contacted by someone who wanted to get 2 discs dyed for Christmas presents for her brother & father. One wasn't too complicated, a UNC Tarheel logo. The second one was inspired by my Calvin & Hobbes putter I did a while back. This one would be the pair under a starlit sky.

I decided to add some edge design shaving cream elements to surround the logo to kick it up a little.

It turned out Pretty good. The logo could have been centered a little better but overall it was a good 4 stage dye.

The Calvin & Hobbes dye would be much more difficult. The mask took a lot of time cutting all the star shapes that would be in the sky. The unknown was how to get a gradual fade from dark blue on the bottom to the black of the top.

What I ended up doing was holding the disc with the bottom edged in for the blue and rolling the disc along the bottom edge to get the dye darker on the bottom edge but also arch the top so it would just reach over Hobbes.

I reversed the process for black dye.

I finished up with the Calvin & Hobbes colors. It turned out very good considering I had never done any fades before this attempt. I forgot to take a pic of the bottom but what I did was take some Orcal vinyl and cut a solid mask along the bottom of the leading edge of the disc. The bottom is a clean white with a crisp separation line around the disc.

This will probably be the only time I take commissions to dye plastic. It's too nerve racking. The pressure to get it right because any mistakes or fuck ups and the disc is ruined. There is always some pressure on issues like that but when someone drops money for a service it bumps it up more than usual.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Today was the Falls Colors at Newport News. Last year I was signed up to play Advanced Grandmasters but my heart attack kinda got in the way.

Since then I have decided that from now on I'm only going to play Recreational because my PDGA rating has dropped down to the 830 range. Two Weeks ago at the IFO I finished 8th out of 12. The first round was fine and was in 3rd place but the second round I had my usual bad play late and ended up 8th out of 12.

The Fall Colors is one of my favorite tournaments. But it's in Newport News which is 120 miles away. Is it worth it to drive 240 miles to play Rec? There were 24 in Rec and most players were rated around 825-860 except for a few unrated players. It's the unrated players that usually end up winning. Sometimes it's just a new players first event but they are usually pretty good players that if they were PDGA members would be rated too high to play Rec.

The morning round I started on 18. Despite the cold it wasn't too bad. I started off slow and before you know it I was 8 over and was looking to drop out after the round.  Hole 5 was a custom set up that sucked. It was a severe right hand dogleg in to tight woods. Throw a great drive to set up the up shot and end up with a 5 after missing an easy putt. Hole 6 I was able to hit a 30' turbo putt through the trees and promptly double bogeyed 7. I started cruising after 7 and threw some great drives that parked 11, 13 & 16 for easy birdies. It kind of saved the round from total disaster.

I ended up on the 3rd cars in 12th place. The leader shot 60 so being 6 back I figured I was probably out of the prizes. I was going to drop out and drive up to New Quarter park and play 18 before driving home. But was talked out of it.

The afternoon round started on 12. I was looking forward to this start figuring I could hit a few birdies early. I was still throwing great drives but this round they were just off enough to keep me out of putting range. But I got in to a groove and with 8 hole left was only 1 over. The hole 5 again. Great tee shot good up shot but a tree kicked me away and I ended up missing another putt. Hole 6 was just a disaster. I was getting tired and hit the first tree about 10' off the tee and my "Give a Fuck" meter hit 11. I went from 1 over to 6 over in three holes. I figured I was out of it. Uncharacteristically I was able to pull my shit together and finished with 2 straight birdie shot, finishing at 4 over. 

Over all it wasn't too bad of a tournament for me. Just a few mental errors. I had consistent tee shots and putts. My up shots let me down this time. 

I ended up in 10th place out of 24. The prizes were paying out up to 12th. I ended up winning a Crystal Buzzz.

As I expected the Rec winner was unrated and shot both rounds 900+. Out of the top 5 3 were unrated. 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Disc Girl

I believe that the future of disc golf is women playing the sport. When I first started in the 80's there were never any women players. That has gradually changed. Spotsy has about 10 women that play and Newport News has a women's club.

The more women that play the more universal the appeal of the game and where women are more guys tend to show up.

I started cutting vinyl stickers of the club logo and other stuff and decided to design one for the ladies in the club.

That became Disc Girl....

It has become very popular among the Ladies DG circles. The cool part is I can customize them easily to personalize them.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dyeing For Some New Discs....

It had been a while but I dyed the trophy discs for the Hawk Hollow Ams event. It's not hard at all but it got me back in to wanting to do some new dyes.

This time I wanted to do some multicolor dyes. I decided it was time for some new putters. I order 2 white star Darts. The first design was a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon I updated to a disc golf theme.

This one wasn't too hard to do. I used the shaving cream dye to paint the different colors. I was debating adding some grass & sky but I decided against that and it came out really clean.

The other putter I went with a more ambitious design. I found a stained glass Flying Spaghetti Monster and adapted it to fit a round design.

I started with heat dying the black lines then orange on the outer edge (I also dyed the underside orange too) and finished the heat dye with the yellow. Then I used shaving cream dye to do each different element. To try and keep it under control I would only peel off the mask of the color I was going to dye. Red for the meatballs & eyes. Then blue, followed by purple and finishing with green.

For the difficulty and challenge of the FSM dye it turned out a lot better than I could hope for. Only a few bleeds and the colors came out great.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ace Race Fun....

Went up to Hot Shots for my friend Jerry's Discraft Ace Race. Basically you get 2 prototype discs and throw ace runs at shortened holes. Whoever gets the most aces wins and metal hits are used as tie breakers.

The discs this year were fairly over stable for my arm. It took me the first 8 holes just to get the range in. I had several really close misses.We were not scoring any hits and then on hole 16 I threw a huge hyzer-bomb and it looked good. I wasn't going to say anything but the guys in my group were yelling for it to go in. The disc dropped straight down and hit the chains and stuck. The bonus was it was a CTP hole too, unless someone else aces that hole I at least will win something.

That put us all in a good mood and the others in my group started hitting metal.

The second round I was in 2nd place Mike had an Ace and 1 metal hit and I had 1 Ace. By the 8 hole I had scored 3 metal hits to take the lead on my card. But Scott scores 2 Aces and with about 10 holes to go my back tightened up and my gas tank was running on empty. I had several close calls but just couldn't score that 2nd Ace. On the last hole I threw another big hyzer-bomb and the disc hit about 24" from the pin and was able to win 2 of the 4 CTP's

Even though I didn't like this disc that much I did pretty good with it. It's kinda between an Avenger and Avenger SS. I'm not that big of fan of Discraft. Their molds just don't seem to fit my throwing style. I was a little disappointed I didn't win but I was competitive and did good.

On a bright note I did win the #31 Spotsy tag off of Jerry and he ended up with my #44.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2014 Hawk Hollow Open

Last weekend the pros descended on one of the toughest disc golf courses I'll ever play, Hawk Hollow.

October is Hawk Hollow Open time. It's amazing watching good disc golfers attack a course like this. Plus it's a fun place to take really good DG images. The cloudy weather created a huge softbox that gave me some even light.

Some of my favorites of the weekend.

I really like getting shots like this....

Guys photo bombing behind another player is something that is happening more often, it makes the day more fun.

 This was a one frame hit. The player nailed an uphill 40' putt from inside the tree.

I had been waiting for a few years to get this shot. Finally Stephen was practicing putts before the start of the round.

It was another fun weekend. For all the images click the link....

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Shaving Cream Disc Dyes

I have been coming in to dying discs again. I have been inspired by some great work on DGCR that have been using shaving cream to do some beautiful tye-dye and other effects on their plastic.

I practiced on a few old discs and after I was fairly sure I could pull off the look I would be going for I gave it a try.

The basic concept here is you mix the dye in with standard shaving cream and then create patterns for certain effects. This process take a few hours to work instead of the few minutes with heat dyes.

The Big Lebowski was going to be the design. I started off with the black outline dye.

The next step would be to color the lenses of the sunglasses. I dropped small blue dots in a star pattern with a few yellow dots and then I filled it all in with red.

Then I created the outer pattern to go round the art. I was trying to create a flame pattern.

I then peeled off the outer edge mask. The dyes on the sunglasses was left on the disc. It was thich enough to stick and not move.

I left the disc to sit in the dye for about 4 hours....

... and this is what I ended up with.

The colors are a lot brighter than is the pic. To finish the disc I added a brown to color the hair highlights. It turned out really well for a beginner's attempt.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mach III Re-fit....

I was getting bored with the Mach III basket and decided it was time for a re-fit. It was time to finally get the basket truly portable. I ordered a portable pole and base from DGA. Instead of using nuts & bolts to put everything together I was going to update it so the basket could be taken down quickly & easily.

But first, I needed to get the new paint done. I decided to make the basket super visible. I painted everything with a base white. Then a heavy duty orange enamel layer topped off with a flourescent orange. To keep orange paint off any oncoming plastic I finished the paint with a satin clear coat.

The final touch was painting the Spotsy club logo on the number plate. I really like how it turned out...

Now I had to modify the basket, base & pole to fit the PNC post by drilling the holes a little bigger which was a non-factor. I added 12" fishing leader wires to attach the posts to the basket so they would not get lost during transport.

The PNC posts worked perfectly. They hold the basket together and will not work loose, bend or strip out like bolts & nuts. It makes taking apart & putting together the basket so much easier.

 With a little thought and planning I now have my Mach III ready for use anywhere. First stop will be the Hawk Hollow Open coming in October.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Red Oak Rumble

I went up to LaPlata, Md to play in the Red Oak Rumble. Jerry & Billy were hosting their first PDGA event at the new Turkey Hill disc golf course. Since they always come down for our tournaments I wanted to support their events.

The rub here is that the Open, Advanced & Intermediate divisions were going to play from the long blue tees. Ronnie and I drove up the previous Wednesday to get some practice in and there was no way I could play 2 rounds on that set up.

So I decided to drop down to the Rec division. I felt pretty much ashamed and a little dirty but I'm only an 850 rated player and probably never going to get much better no matter how much I practice.

I was feeling pretty good I had been practicing putts in the backyard for about an hour every day for the past 2 weeks...

Including me 5 Spotsy guys traveled up for the first PDGA sanctioned event at the new Turkey Hill Disc Golf Course. I really like this course if you ever get the chance play it. 

The Rec division was playing from the Red tees (Short Tees) both rounds the second round would play the long basket positions. The first round I did okay, not too many mistakes I couldn't recover from. My biggest problem this round was missing the drives on super short 11 & 12. I failed to hit the easy birdies on both holes. But I managed a 57 (+2) and was in third place behind two tied at even par.

The second card all four of us were within four strokes of each other. This round I completely fell apart on my putting. I missed four birdie putts, some as close as 10'. I missed several par saving putts from within 20'. It was a complete disaster within the circle. The only saving grace was that the other three on my card were not doing much better.

That round should have been 62. The lead card played so bad that the second guy on the chase card shot a 61 and ended up winning by one. But I was able to hang on for third.

It wasn't a bad day after all. I finished 3rd in Red, Ronnie took 2nd in Intermediate & Cody won the Open division.

I'm pretty sure if I play any more tournaments I'm just going to play Rec. No matter how much I practice or play I will always be an 850 rated player. Maybe one day I'll win one...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mike Sale: The Quest for 2,500

Starting on Friday, October 11 at noon Mike Sale began his attempt to regain his
world record of most disc golf holes played in 24 hours. In 2013 Mike
set the record at a course in California by playing 1,310 holes. But
that record was broken by Cody MIller in Richmond, Texas. He played
1,637 in May of 2014.

This attempt was also a way for Mike to raise awarness and funds for
students affected by the shooting at the University of California Santa
Barbera where he is a student. So far he has raised $1,500. 

Mike was determined to regain the record and put it out of reach for any
challengers. The Tiki course at The Blockhouse would be perfect. With a
support team that included his parents and friends and a sponsorship
from Discraft. Mike played each hole with two assistants following him
making sure he always had a disc ready to go at every tee pad or basket.
One person was always with Mike at all times calling in the score of
each hole by pocket radio to a score keeper. 

Each hole on the TIki course was aced at a minimum of once during the
attempt. A brisk pace was the order of the day as he had reached 500 by
the third hour and he continued that pace reaching 1,000 by hour six. At
2:07 am Saturday morning he broke the current record and still had 14
hours to go. By sunrise he had passed 2,200 holes and was still going
strong. By 10am he was at 2,700 holes played. With about 30 minutes left
in the 24 hours Mike decided to stop on a specific number  and at 23
hours 57 minutes he stopped at 2,900 disc golf holes played.

The world record is unofficial until the details are submitted to Guiness World Record officals.

During his 24 hours on the Tiki course Mike walked 80.5 miles playing 161.11
rounds, completing 2,900 holes and hitting 114 aces. An average of 2
holes per minute.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Last Day of Vacation

I took a week off from work to burn up some vacation time before I end up losing it. Stayed at home and go a lot of stuff done. Played some disc golf, bused up my foot.

But today was for riding.

The weather is just starting to cool down and up on Skyline you need a jacket in some stretches of road. It was a great day before heading back to work.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

2014 River City Open

The Summer is winding down and for some moronic reason I decided to try my skills at disc golf again. I signed up for the River City Open at The Village. I had been playing better this summer (not much better, but better) there were going to be a lot of Spotsy players there and the entry fee was reasonable.

Let's just say, "It wasn't the day I was hoping for." I did improve my total score by 10 strokes from the last tournament I played there but the result was the same. Dead Fucking Last in Advanced Grandmasters and would have bee 4th from DFL in intermediate.

Red from Shawshank Redemption said, "Hope can be a dangerous thing."

He was right. Some people just will never be better at something no matter how much they practice or work at something. Disc golf is one of those things for me. I don't mind not winning. I've been a loser all my life so that's not the issue. Sadly for me I'm kinda used to being last. I don't like it but that's another issue.

I would just like to be competitive.

Make it respectable....

The first round was not as bad as it looked. A couple of putts spit out and I missed 3 birdie putts. It could have easily been 60-61. But the short birdie holes that I should have easily parked I just couldn't seem to hit the line. And there is nothing like the feeling of 3-putting a birdie tee shot and walking to the next hole scoring a bogey.

The second round was a total disaster. Several terrible drives off the tee that automatically sent me fighting to save bogey. I did putt better the second round. (mostly to save bogey) I did have one amazing shot on 4 out of the woods across the open field and back through the woods and parked it for a drop in but that was for a bogey. 

Hope is a dangerous thing...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Seneca Sun Seeker

I drove up to Gaithersburg, Maryland to photograph a friend that was hosting his inaugural Seneca Sun Seeker at Seneca Creek State Park.

I had never been there and it is a beautiful 27 hole course with everything you need for a great disc golf experience.

Luckily it was an overcast day. The downside was there were some pretty dark areas in the woods that pushed the limits of my gear. But if the sun had been out much it wold have beat me down completely. I didn't have any trouble getting to sleep when I got home.

Bobby put on a first rate tournament, I did a pretty good job on my end.