Monday, September 11, 2006

Big plans soaked...

by rain. Easily, the wettest damn tournament I've ever skied in was this past weekend. I (and everyone else at the lake) Shivered as the incessant rain gradually soaked through their rain covers.

The weather was gorgeous on Friday afternoon when I left my apartment

It was still nice on Friday night. What a great weekend to camp out at a tournament!
tent row

I had plans to sit out on the ramp to get both jump and slalom pictures, but it rained too damn much the rest of the weekend.

The Waterhawk Fall tournament reminded me of a collegiate tournament, from lots of "Triple Splat" plop-overs (to borrow a phrase from Clint), to overhearing a couple in "passionate embrace" (to borrow a cheesy synonym)in the tent across from mine. By the way, the girl(I don't know who) did not sound like she enjoyed the experience. Think whiny 6 year-old with a high fever, and that's about what she sounded like.
But enough about unfortunate hookups. A large contingent from the Iowa, Iowa State, And Wisconsinwater ski teams made the trip. While Iowa State sorely lacks the numbers for a competitive women's team, Both Iowa (Although I can't vouch for Wisconsin, the vast majority of males in the Iowa ski club are strictly wakeboarders, or 30 year old eligibility-long-gone-from-undergraduate-days three-eventers)and Wisconsin seem to lack the numbers to field a competitive men's team.

Speaking of the Iowa women's team, a girl took her first ride on a pair of trick skis at the tournament (I think Heidi was her name) and could not get her feet out of the bindings. Flailing helplessly, she could not swim to shore. The chaos that followed lowered the bar for open-water rescue.
Sorry about the picture orientation. I can't get Flickr to rotate it.

Libby managed to shoot a few jump pics before it rained.
I can't tell who that is, but it was a nice jump

Me, I think. None of my performances were worth the bandwith to mention them.

Clint, probably

Speaking of Libby, I've tried to talk her into camping out with me at a tournament all summer. She finally agreed to camp out on Saturday night. Libby was treated to a night of good fireworks with bad music (I swear I heard Toby Keith), cold temperatures, a rain-soaked blanket, a wet tent floor, a perculating drip on her head from the tent roof, and continued heavy rain the next morning. I don't understand why she left to go home at 8 am on Sunday morning.
Libby's ski tournament chair, it sat empty all day Sunday, except for the gallon of rainwater that collected inside it.

that's all I have for now. I need a camera with more zoom and more water-resistance.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Get well soon...

Bud Piercy. I pasted this from
  • .

    Team Midwest sends its best to
    Carol "BUD" Piercy.

    Some of you may know already, but some don't so I am sending this out. Carol Piercy had a pretty bad injury this weekend jumping. Easy landing, fought to get control, then the ski slipped out on him and he ended up displacing his pelvis and breaking his hip. We are hoping for surgery Wednesday, they feel they have the internal bleeding under control. He's in a lot of pain right now and could really use the prayers and support with a card or something. If you don't have their address it is:

    1134 EP Lane
    Ashland, NE

    To give you an indication of how far his pelvis displaced, during a normal childbirth, there is approximately 1/2 inch of displacement. Dad's was 3 inches. His spirits are good around friends but his family knows his pain. He's worked so hard to get in shape this season and was skiing as good as ever when he first got hurt in July. Didn't really ski all year until Regionals and hurt himself some more. Got almost healed and then this happened. He could use the encouragement.

    I know skiing in Nebraska wouldn't have been possible without him and skiing in Iowa wouldn't be the same. Let him know how much he means to waterskiing, especially here in the Midwest.

    Thanks for your support,
    The Piercy's

    I wish Bud a speedy recovery.

    By the way, the nurses will shit a brick when they read Bud's chart and learn how he broke his hip. It's the last thing they would expect.

    Saturday, September 02, 2006

    Third time's...

    a bitch. Switching a prop out on your everyday, run-of-the-mill inboard ski boat is supposed to be a 20 minute job, max. Well, after three attempts in three days, and nearly five hours total of fruitless straining, all I have to show for my effort is a cut on the side of my head (damn anti-cavitation plate of '97 Moombas).

    About two months ago, I borrowed an OJ prop puller form Rick

    I popped the prop off in about ten minutes, with minimal tension.

    Our three-blade is bent is needs to be replaced with a reconditioned four-blade.

    This time was a little harder.

    Wednesday. 2 hours of struggling, and reattatching the prop puller about 10 times netted nothing. Lubricant didn't help either

    Thursday. After another 1.5 hours of cussing, bumping my head and endless frustration, the prop still wouldn't come off. Hitting the puller bolt, the piller end and the propshaft itself didn't work for shit.

    Friday. One last shot. I would bring out sir Isaac Newton's secret weapon; Thermal expansion. Firsrt, I wiped off the excess shaft lubricant (it is oil-based), and liberally dusted the prop with sodium bicarbonate (that's baking soda in the common tongue). I then took a creme brulee torch and ran it up and down the other propshaft until it was too hot to touch. Then I cranked on the prop puller once again. Nothing. I have officially given up. Time to let Mid river have a shot at it.

    Notice how I wedged the prop with a section of railroad tie.

    Yeah, that didn't work either.

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    In just two weeks...

    I'll have high speed internet. Then, maybe I'll post more often. It's hard to stay motivated when everything takes 10x as long as it should because you spend





    ting for stuff to process. But anyway, here are a few shots from the Omaha Open. This tournament is supposed to be at Carter Lake. But it had to be moved TO Championship Lake Estates in Yutan, NE because of one teeny little problem: Not enough water in Carter Lake. I swear, some people freak out over the tiniest little detail.

    my obligatory lake shots:

    The north end:
    north view

    The south end:
    south view

    One of the unfortunate consequences of AWSA's 2008 switch to a rankings-based system will be the renaming of streets around ski sites. Just ask Bud and Janet Piercy

    rename the road

    How about Rank Road, or Cut-Off Average Court? Top 30% for each event, including overall, Thoroughfare? More brainstorming is in order.

    Back to the tournament. There was a stiff north wind all weekend, and slalom starts on the North end. Very few skiers made it through their third pass , yours truly included. Your fearless blog moderator even dropped his opening pass in round 1.

    jim mcg slalom
    Jim Mclaughlin

    bud piercy slalom
    Bud Piercy

    anonymous spray

    Trick pictures were, dare I say, tricky. My rope leg hamstring still ailing, I sat out tricks this weekend. That meant lots of trick judging. It is extremely difficult to call tricks and take pictures at the same time. I had to point the camera at a spot on the lake as soon as the boat pulled the skier up at the far end of the lake. Not staring directly into the screen (I was judging), I had to wait for the boat to enter the screen and wait for a second or two, then click the button. I also had to figure a significant shutter delay. I was hoping to get the skier in the center of the shot. It didn't work

    this one was a little early
    mary jo trick
    Mary Jo Pinkerton

    This one was a little late, and I didn't zoom in enough.
    mae mae
    Merill Magelli, 2k6 W3 tricks champ

    Way late on the button.
    jim mcg trick
    Jim Mclaughlin

    The persistent north wind brought near-perfect jump conditions all weekend.

    Cory Piercy, 140' His best jump since returning from a two-year tour of duty in Iraq
    cory piercy home game

    Unfortunately, he was the first jumper of the weekend, and a guinea pig for my pictures. After he jumped, I realized that I could get better shots at the other side of the lake, closer to the ramp.

    Steve Prociw, 101' and a huge monkey (more like a gorilla) off his back
    steve prociw 1
    steve prociw 2

    Jim Lindgren, 136' at his first tournament in M4
    jim lindgren 1
    jim lindgren 2

    Jim Mclaughlin, didn't catch the distance
    jim mcg jump

    I popped out a 145 footer, despite some problems with my jumpsuit. Thank God for duck tape
    intensity smoothskin
    Now available in fashionable yellow!

    Next post: cussing, straining, and head bumping with jammed props!