Joey Juggling

So when we visited colleges, all of the admissions offices recommended that Joey have video clips so that coaches could evaluate him.  Since he’s interested in out-of-state schools, as well as schools that aren’t close to us – and let’s face it, there are no colleges close to Bishop – I’m starting to put together videos of Joey for college.  Here’s my first effort.  We just went down to Bishop city park to film a juggling video.  I used iMovie with some stock transitions to put it together.  Cheers.

Backpacking With Joey

sunriseSo I haven’t been outside much this summer.  I’ve been going to work, coming home, eating dinner, going to bed, and then starting again the next day.  Joey also hasn’t done much this summer, short of playing videogames and sleeping.  Since we haven’t backpacked in a while, I decided to take a short trip into the backcountry with Joey.

I decided on hiking up into the Big Pine lakes loop.  There are a series of numbered lakes (First lake, Second lake, Third lake, etc.) and so we hiked up between First and Second to set up camp.  We took our dog Mochi up with us, too.  We had a great time getting away, although the hike was pretty tough.  It was about a 2,000-foot elevation change from the trailhead to the first campsite.IMG_4767

IMG_4761Did some fishing, and Joey and I both caught some brook trout and rainbows.  The silver and blue Kastmaster was the hot lure, and just about any fly seemed to work on my fly rod.

Hiked by the Lon Chaney (the old horror film actor) cabin, built back in 1929.  It took us about two hours to hike to the cabin, and we took a break there.  The cabin is still in good shape, and is taken care of by the Forest Service.IMG_4721

We hiked out the next day after hiking up toward Palisade Glacier.  There were some brutal switchbacks, and Mochi’s paw was hurt so we never made it to the Glacier.  We did get pretty close, though.  Anyway, you can click on the photos to see the whole gallery of pics.  Enjoy!

Joey, fishing at Second Lake, North Big Pine trail.  Temple Crag towers over the lake, with the Palisades just peeking over the

Bishop Broncos Slideshows

I’m posting the end of season slideshows for Bishop Union High School’s varsity soccer program for 2011/2012 season.  They were shown during the post season awards banquet, so here they are for posterity.

Anywhere, here is the video for the Bishop Union High School Boys Varsity team:

Here is the video for the Bishop Union High School Girls Varsity team:

Gracie Dancing With Her Hula Group

So last night, I was pretty tired.  We had returned from Los Angeles to watch the Galaxy play the Portland Timbers at the Home Depot Center on Sunday, and we didn’t get home until about 1am Monday morning.  I then had to get up at 4:30am, so I could get to work by 6am!  We’re going to four ten-hour days and get Fridays off during the summer months.

Anyway, I was pretty bleary-eyed by the time I got home Monday after work, and Karen reminded me that Gracie was dancing with her hula group at the city park.  I’ll admit it – I thought of not going.  The hula thing was just something that Gracie did to pass the time on Monday nights and got her out of the house, so I could sit on the couch and surf the web in peace.  Gracie does so *many* activities, and this was just another one of them.

But, I’m so glad I went.  As I watched her dance last night, I was struck by how beautiful she was.  I have always seen her as beautiful, of course, but in an entirely different way.  She is beautiful because she is my daughter.  Because she is kind-hearted.  Because she is clever, has a quick wit, or does well in school.  But watching her dance last night took me into a new aesthetic, and I realized how maybe other people just might see her.  I watched ladies in the audience look at her and smile, remembering how they must have moved as they danced…  I saw men look over at their wives and smile, perhaps remembering the same thing.  A boy riding by on his scooter stopped to watch the dance from the sidewalk, and I wonder if he had ever stopped to watch someone dance before in his life and thought, perhaps not.

Maybe I was just really tired, but it brought a tear to my eye.

Toiyabe Tournament Weekend

IMG_3645We finished Gracie’s very first spring soccer season over the weekend, and it was a really fun time.  She played in the Toiyabe League, which included teams from North Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, and Carson Valley.  The league play was from April through the end of May and we traveled up to Carson City to play double headers, and the northern teams traveled here to Bishop for games, too.  Coaches Rob Rose (Carson Valley Midnight Madness), Steve Twomey (North Lake Tahoe Adrenaline), and Robert Sanchez (South Lake Tahoe Stars) were really great, and their excellent coaching was reflected by their teams.  They were all positive, encouraged each other, gave us competitive matches.  In league play, the largest goal differential was two goals, with most games won by a single goal!  Bishop FC (Gracie’s team) was fortunate to win the league.  We tied in points with coach Rob Rose’s Carson Valley Midnight Madness, but won the league based on head-to-head games (we won one, and tied one against them during the season) and referee points (we had 6 points to their 2).  So, the girls were really happy to finish the league on top with a record of five wins, one tie, and no losses.

IMG_3744The season concluded June 2/3rd with the Area 2F Toiyabe Tournament.  Bishop started with a 1-0 win over North Lake Tahoe Adrenalie on Saturday, followed by a 2-0 win over South Lake Tahoe Stars Saturday afternoon.  Sunday morning saw us face the Carson Valley Midnight Madness.  It was a tougher match than the scoreline showed, but Bishop went through to the finals with a 3-0 win.

IMG_3794The other three teams were so close in points for the final that it came down to the last match.  Each team had one loss, so the semi-final was very exciting.  North Lake Tahoe Adrenaline faced the South Lake Tahoe Stars to see who would go through to the championship match.  North Lake Tahoe scored first to put them up 1-0, but South Lake Tahoe fought back with a breakaway in the second half to even the score.  South Lake almost pulled off the victory, when their striker Bessie (Betsy?) scored on another fast break, but the goal was disallowed for a narrow offside call.  The match finished in a 1-1 tie, so that knocked out Carson Valley, and North Lake Tahoe Adrenaline advanced to the final on earned points.

IMG_3845The final took place at 1:30, with Bishop facing the South Lake Tahoe Adrenaline.  Both teams were tired from tough matches earlier in the day.  It was a defensive battle for the first half of the match.  Gracie was a demon on defense, making excellent tackles and great clearances the entire match.  Dulcinea Ostly-Vasquez and Danica Thornburg chased down every through ball, and the match was deadlocked at 0-0 at halftime.

IMG_3874In the third quarter, Bishop finally broke through on a quick pass in front of the net which saw Aylin Campos slot home a goal from five yards out.  With twenty minutes left in the match, Bishop would have to defend against a determined Adrenaline attack.  Paaku’u Dewey made a ninja-like kick save late in the third quarter when an North Lake Tahoe attacker broke through one-on-one with the keeper.  But Paaku’u's save preserved Bishop’s lead into the fourth quarter.

IMG_3989Paaku’u Dewey sustained an injury and she stayed back on defense to nurse it.  With no substitutes available, she would continue in the match despite her injury.   Zoe Freilich took command of the midfield, expertly winning the ball and making great runs in passes to her midfielders Anna Dossey and Aylin Campos.  Strikers Paige Martinez and Brittany Santana kept up the pressure offensively, making dangerous runs deep into the Adrenaline penalty area.

IMG_4003Brittany Santana made a miraculous save just minutes from the end of the match, when an Adrenaline attacker beat keeper Anna Dossey and shot toward the open net.  Brittany sprinted back to the goal line to sweep the ball just inches before it scored, and Bishop’s lead was narrowly kept!  But, Brittany aggravated a hamstring injury, so she switched to goalkeeper to finish the match, and Anna Dossey kept up the offensive pressure in her place.

IMG_4028The match ended in a narrow 1-0 victory for Bishop FC, and both teams exhibited good sportsmanship.  Our Bishop girls certainly knew what it was like to fall just short in a final.  Several of the girls on Bishop FC also played on the Kit Carson “B” team, who lost 1-0 in the all-star final last year, and the team fell just short at the Quartz Hill Shootout earlier in May, when they again lost 1-0 in a tournament final.  But, their grit and determination saw them through this time, and they emerged this weekend as both league and tournament champions!

The team roster for the Toiyabe League season was:

  • Chloe Almeida
  • Emily Ball
  • Aylin Campos
  • Paaku’u Dewey
  • Anna Dossey
  • Zoe Freilich
  • Grace Griego
  • Paige Martinez
  • Isabel Munoz
  • Dulcinea Ostly-Vasquez
  • Brittany Santana
  • Grisel Santana
  • Danica Thornburg

The Toiyabe Tournament team was the same roster, except for Chloe, Emily, Isabel and Grisel, who had to miss the end of season tournament due to other commitments.  We sure missed them, but we’re glad to have had their help during the season.

Coaching these girls was really fun.  They all get along, they support one another, and every one of them have developed as a player during the spring season.  I think they all had as much fun as I did during the spring soccer season, and I look forward to seeing them continue to play in the fall.  I will miss the younger players next yeas, as Gracie moves up to U15, and the younger players will stay in U12.  But, I hope to coach them again someday.  They are lovely, strong, confident young women, and it was my honor to be their coach.  Go Bishop soccer!

Unlocked iPhone 4s with AT&T (from Alltel)

So, I thought I’d post this information for anyone else in my situation.

I was on contract with Alltel (in Mammoth Lakes, CA).  I was given the unlimited data plan through Alltel back in fall of 2010.  Alltel did not offer many smartphones with this deal, so I was issued an HTC Hero (Android) with the plan.  At the time, they told me that AT&T was buying out Alltel in our area, and so our plan would be converted to an AT&T plan when the buyout was complete, but that all plan details (including unlimited data/text) would be preserved.  The buyout took place, and so my old phone stopped working, and the new phone I got from AT&T (an HTC Aria, Android 2.2) was activated (in February of 2011).

After calling AT&T directly to check on my plan status, I found out some interesting details. Apparently, I can’t manage my “Circle” (an Alltel feature that let me have free calls to 10 people I identified as in my circle) any more, now that the Alltel plan is an AT&T plan.  All features of my old plan are permanently locked, and I can’t change my circle, or make any adjustments to my old Alltel plan. I cannot log into the “My AT&T” web portal, and see the details of my plan.  They won’t be adding this in the future.  They won’t convert my old login info to the Alltel portal (which I used to adjust my circle numbers, etc.).  More importantly, the customer service rep at AT&T told me if I ever wanted to upgrade my Alltel plan to the latest and greatest smartphone (or an iPhone) I would have to cancel my Alltel plan and move to a limited-data plan under AT&T.

I didn’t change at that time, since I like having unlimited data, and the Aria was serviceable, if not really up-to-date any more. If I upgraded to any AT&T subsidized smartphone, they would demand I change plans.

So, I ended up purchasing an unlocked iPhone 4s from Apple directly.  That went smoothly. Apple must have phenomenal order fulfillment, because I ordered on a Thursday afternoon at 4:45pm, and received the phone the very next day, at about noon.

Since my AT&T-issued HTC Aria had one of the larger SIM cards, I couldn’t just swap it out into the new iPhone 4s.  I thought about cutting the card down to size, and even bought a SIM cutter. But, I thought I’d stroll on down to the local AT&T store here in Mammoth Lakes to see if they would just swap my info to a micro-SIM card (which will fit in the new iPhone).

Turns out they are happy to do it.  I just told them I needed my info transferred to a new micro-SIM card instead of the one in my Aria.  I told them a story about traveling abroad, so I’d need to buy an unlocked phone.  Since AT&T doesn’t sell carrier-unlocked phones at all, they didn’t give me any flak.  But, I honestly don’t think it matters, so you probably don’t need to make up a story.  Just tell them you are buying an unlocked iPhone from Apple directly.

Anyway, they looked up my info on the computer, grabbed a micro-SIM, scanned it, and voila!  The new micro-SIM was activated with my phone number, and ready to go.  They charged me $29.00 for this service.  Note that whatever phone you currently have is now useless, since the moment they activate the new SIM, the old SIM stops working.

With the new micro-SIM in my hot little hand, I popped out the micro-SIM slot on my new iPhone 4s, and put it in.  It only fits one way, so no worries there.

I connected it to iTunes, and turned it on.  After following the prompts, the AT&T carrier logo popped up on the main screen, it was activated.  I could now send and receive phone calls and text messages on my new factory-unlocked iPhone 4s.

But, there was a problem!  I had used the WiFi on the iPhone 4s to connect online, and so I turned it off, thinking I would use the 3g.  No dice!  I got an error that no data connection was available.  A pop-up came up that said “Could not activate cellular data network.  You are not subscribed to a cellular data service.”  I began to panic.  Did I just screw myself out of unlimited data?  I knew I had a data plan, since it worked perfectly with my HTC Aria just minutes before. Did AT&T have an evil agenda to keep people from upgrading their own phones even though it was purchased unlocked from the factory?

Nope.  Turns out that in order to use 3g data, you must set something called the APN Settings on the new iPhone.  These APN settings allow the handset to use 3g data connection just as you have before.  It took some Google-fu, and there was some confusion about how to set the APN settings.  Some sites said you just had to edit your APN settings by going to “Settings” then “General” then “Network” and then “Cellular Data.”  Well, I didn’t even have Cellular Data, and nowhere to edit APN settings at all!

Turns out you can either use the iPhone Configuration Utility (free download from Apple) or have a website do it all for you!

To use the easy option, on your new iPhone 4s, turn on WiFi and connect to the Internet.  Open Safari, then browse to: http://www.unlockit.co.nz then click “Continue.”  Select “Custom APN.”  Select your country (United States, in my case) and then select the Carrier from the list (I chose “AT&T”).   Click on Create Profile, then Install, and then you’re done.  3g will now work on your phone.

Anyway, I hope that helps anyone else upgrading to a factory-unlocked iPhone 4s from the old Alltel plan, which converted to AT&T.   Cheers!

Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Yes, it’s been 12 years since our beautiful little girl was born.  She turned 12 on Saturday, and it’s hard to believe that’s she’s now in middle school, and well on her way to becoming a young woman.

I still see her as a little girl, but I know that’s changing fast.  I suppose I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts.  She had her friends Zoe and Xochitl over for a day making ceramic crafts (up in Mammoth at Color Me Mine studio), and a sleepover.  She got some Monster High dolls, a pair of really cool slippers that look like dogs (from Zoe), and we got her a Kindle Fire for reading and such.  Click on the photo for the full gallery of pics from her party…

More Playing Around with HDR

Playing with Photomatix and HDR processing

So I’ve been playing around with Photomatix and HDR photography, just for fun. This is an image of a Ford F250 truck in the parking lot at Mammoth high. It’s an interesting effect that sort of makes it look like a painting. I’ll be trying different settings in the near future, I think.

Final Game of 2012 for Bishop Boys Varsity Soccer

So the 2nd round CIF game against Desert Mirage high was played yesterday afternoon.  Joey didn’t get a chance to play at all, so naturally they lost, 4-1…haha.  I guess it’s a senior thing, as none of the underclassmen really got called on to play much at all.  The boys were clearly outclassed against Desert Mirage, but they played hard, and the last goal was a result of pulling a defender forward to midfield to get more attacking play.  The irony was that when Bishop actually started playing the passes, they got plenty of chances.  But, alas, it was too little, too late.

But, Joey got his chance to play varsity soccer for the first time, and I think there is a bright future ahead for Bishop High soccer, on both the boys and the girls side.  Click on the photo to see the whole gallery of pics from the last boys match of 2012.