12 October 2008

Today was very interesting.

After taking photographs at the parade today (see my previous 3 entries), I had to clear my memory card because it was full. I dumped everything to my hard drive. Here are two videos Ben (aka Boy) and I made at Spring Valley shooting range a few weeks ago.

Note that when Boy says: "Are you kidding me?" it is his response to the fact that he missed the target completely. LOL. No big deal, actually. The M1911A1 .45 ACP pistol is hard to learn how to shoot with. He'll get it with enough practice. (also note that, after he fires his last round, he takes his finger OFF the trigger. Good safety practice there, something that I taught him when he was little and running around the backyard with his toy guns. I'm proud of him.)

It ain't like shooting Commies on the X-Box, is it son?

The rifle that I am shooting is a Ruger Mini-14 chambered for .223 Remington (5.56mm NATO).

These videos did not turn out too badly considering they were captured on a little Samsung Digimax S600, eh?


This is my daughter, Jennie (aka JenEl (Jennifer Ella), Stench, or Stink (derived from Smelly, derived from Ellie, derived from Ella). I took this picture at the parade (see below) today with my camera . She is wearing her Bette Midler disguise.

"Oy vey, Papa, oi'm gonna marry a dahctah." LOL.

Right then.

Today was very interesting.

Sue Pie, JenEl, and myself went to the 50th annual Holiday at Home parade to watch Boy and the Kettering Fairmont Marching Firebirds. Everybody loves a parade. I love parades and also kittens.

Let's have a look.

The Honor Guard at the fore. They are old school toughs carrying .30-06 rifles.

The Kettering Fairmont Marching Firebirds. They play music with their instruments while they march in step to the music.

The Music Director. He is a good fellow.

The flute section. That is a close-up of Boy in the inset. His actual location in the formation is directly below the red box. Do you see him?


Color Guard Coordinator.

Color Guard.

Pit Crew (Pit Daddys) I work with these guys during competitions and football games. We support the kids by moving props, instruments, and such-like. I did not work with them today. I was taking pictures along the avenue. I have a blue hat and shirt like they do.


Kettering Police Department.

Vintage Kroger grocery wagon from the olden days.

Those horses from the Super Bowl TV ads for beer.

These are not all the things that were in the parade. There were other things also.

As the fat lady sings ... done been did.


Words of Wisdom: a hamburger is a cheeseburger without the cheese. Do you understand?

05 October 2008


I do not like blogger ...

AOL has really messed me up with all this moving around. I'm out of there, and I'm out of here as well.

BOA will have to wait for a later date, as things are moving on in the band competition world.

You can follow my continuing adventures here:




03 October 2008

BOA competition Part 6

Four 0'clock came around much soon than I had anticipated. Time really no longer existed for me at this point. I was functioning on auto pilot now, having had all of 2-hours sleep since around 11AM the previous day. I, of course, remember all of these events, but they are a blur of activity.

The Firebirds had left us at the truck, taking with them their instruments for a last minute practice/warm-up session somewhere on the campus. They were nowhere in sight as the Pit Crew moved out. We were about to go "onstage".

My Pit Pass

We moved all of the Pit instruments around the field to the point from where we would enter. Part of our responsibility is to make sure that the Drum Majors' commander stands are properly placed.

Commander Stand (that's Pit Dad Dan on the right with our humble tractor idling in the background).

When the band performing before us was finished, we had four minutes to set up. Our Pit members moved into position to prepare for this.

Kettering Marching Firebirds Pit.

The band in front of us had just about finished their show when we realized that our band still had not shown up. For a short time we were worried that they might not make it at all. Personally, I thought there might have been a major screw-up on the part of the band directors. I had heard a couple of different times at which we were to perform: 4, and 4:30. What if the Pit took the field at 4, but the band didn't arrive until 4:30? LOL. My fears were unjustified as , right on time, rising from the mists, came the familiar blue uniforms and black plumes. They entered the field opposite us.

The Firebirds enter the stadium.

I quickly, skillfully snapped this shot just as the order to "Go!" was given. Vinnie and I dashed across the field to the 50-yard line with our assigned commander stand and placed it with precision. Then we got the heck out of there so the kids could do their thing.

Unfortunately, I was unable to video any of this particular performance as my position behind the Pit did not allow for it. BOA forbids any video taping while on the field.

However, fellow 'Birds fanatic CynaraJane did grant me permission to post this. This is actually from the Tipp City OMEA show a couple of weeks ago, but it's basically the same show as performed at BOA ... Thanks Jane!

The Firebirds did well as you will shortly see.

After the performance, Vinnie and I dashed back across the field to retrieve our assigned commander stand. We had only two minutes to get out of there before the band behind us was to take the field. Points would be counted against our band if we didn't make it.

We made it just fine. We're professional Pit Daddies, after all.

The band and crew exited the stadium and gathered in front of the stadium. After which we returned to the trucks to wait for the rest of the bands to finish (there were two that followed us) and to await the preliminary judgement.

Heading back to base.


BOA competition Part 5

Continuing the adventure at ...

Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

As chronicled in my previous post(s), the kids arrived at the stadium about 5-minutes before we did. The buses had already parked and the kids were exiting and milling about when we arrived. In the stadium beyond the parking area, competitions were already in progress. You can see the crowd in the stand watching.

Stadium and buses.

Once again the heroic Pit Crew sprang into action, quickly unloading the uniform carts so that the kids could gear up for their coming performance. I'd like to say that "the tension in the air was so thick that you could cut it with a knife", but really, a lot of the kids are vets of this type of thing and we Crew members know our job well, so there was not a lot to be tense about. The kids got their uniforms and dressed for the show.

Uniform carts.

While this was going down, we unloaded the instruments and props for the show. Actually, this had to be done in proper order -- first the carts, then the props, etc ... I want you to know that just because you don't see me in this picture (taken with my camera), does not mean that I was not working hard. I had already moved a prop, and was expertly moving up to help with another, when I snapped this very dramatic shot.

From L to R -- Pit Boss Steve (in the blue cap), a Pit Crew member whose name I do not yet know (who also subs as our truck driver (remember there are 20 of us)), upper row: Matt (whose back is to us), and Vinnie (in the blue and white cap). Band members look on, waiting for their number to be called (each prop is numbered for proper placement and will be carried to the field by 2 Firebirds).

Boy was around. Here he is looking tired. We all were tired at this point, around noon, and the day was not yet half over (this was a LONG day, as I mentioned before).

What are you looking at, Boy?

Heh. I grabbed him as he walked past for this picture and told him to clown around a little. He wouldn't. I have since explained to him that I am trying to convey the general spirit of these events with photos and when moments like this come and go they are lost forever. So when I say CLOWN, I mean clown. He understands now.

It is not that he is in a bad mood here, it's just that there is so much going on. And maybe a little pressure ;) this is a pretty big competition after all.